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Edited by the Rev. T. K. CHEYNE, M.A., D.D,, Oriel Professor 
OF Interpretation, Oxford ; and the Rev. A. B. BRUCE, D.D., 
Professor of Apologetics and New Testament Exegesis, Free 
Church College, Glasgow. 

VOL. X. 

History of Dogma 









14 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, London 

20 South Frederick Street, Edinburgh 

AND 7 Broad Street, Oxford 




/. ':> 


The present volume is the first of three, which will reproduce 
in English the contents of Vol. III. of Harnack's great work in 
the German original, third Edition. The author's prefaces to 
the first and second Editions and to the third Edition are here 
translated. This volume deals with the epoch-making service of 
Augustine as a reformer of Christian piety and as a theological 
teacher, and with the influence he exercised down to the period 
of the Carlovingian Renaissance. The following volume will 
complete the history of the Development of Dogma by telling 
the story of Mediaeval Theology. The concluding volume will 
treat of the Issues of Dogma in the period since the Reforma- 
tion, and will contain a General Index for the whole work. 




There does not yet exist a recognised method for presenting 
the History of Dogma of the Mediaeval and more modern 
period. There is no agreement either as to the extent or treat- 
ment of our material, and the greatest confusion prevails as to the 
goal to be aimed at. The end and aim, the method and course 
adopted in the present Text-Book, were clearly indicated in the 
introduction to the first volume. I have seen no reason to make 
any change in carrying out the work. But however definite may 
be our conception of the task involved in our branch of study, 
the immense theological material presented by the Middle Ages, 
and the uncertainty as to what was Dogma at that time, make 
selection in many places an experiment. I may not hope that 
the experiment has always been successful. 

After a considerable pause, great activity has been shown in 
the study of our subject in the last two years. Benrath, Hauck, 
Bonwetsch, and Seeberg have published new editions of older 
Text-Books ; Loofs has produced an excellent Guide to the 
History of Dogma ; Kaftan has given a sketch of the study in 
his work on the Truth of the Christian Religion ; Moller and 
Koffmane have devoted special attention to the sections dealing 
with it in their volumes on Ancient Church History. The study 
of these books, and many others which I have gratefully made 
use of, has shown me that my labours on this great subject have 
not remained isolated or been fruitless. The knowledge of this 
has outweighed many experiences which I pass over in silence. 

This concluding volume counts, to a greater extent than its 

predecessors, on the indulgence of my learned colleagues ; for 

its author is not a "specialist," either in the history of the 

Mediaeval Church or in the period of the Reformation. But the 

advantage possessed by him who comes to the Middle Ages and 



the Reformation with a thorough knowledge of ecclesiastical 
antiquity perhaps outweighs the defects of an account which 
does not ever>'where rest on a complete induction. One man 
can really review all the sources for the history of the Ancient 
Church ; but as regards the Middle Ages and the history of the 
Reformation, even one more familiar with them than the author 
of this Text-Book will prove his wisdom simply by the most 
judicious choice of the material which he studies independently. 
The exposition of Augustine, Anselm, Thomas, the Council of 
Trent, Socinianism, and Luther rests throughout on independent 
studies. This is also true of other parts ; but sections will be 
found in which the study is not advanced, but only its present 
position is reproduced. 

I have spent a great deal of time on the preparation of a Table 
of Contents. I trust it will assist the use of the book. But for 
the book itself, I wish that it may contribute to break down the 
power that really dictates in the theological conflicts of the 
present, viz,^ ignorance. We cannot, indeed, think too humbly 
of the importance of theological science for Christian piety ; but 
we cannot rate it too highly as regards the development of the 
Evangelical Church, our relation to the past, and the preparation 
of that better future in which, as once in the second century, the 
Christian faith will again be the comfort of the weak and the 
strength of the strong. 

Berlin^ 24th Dec, 1889. 


Since this volume first appeared, there may have been pub- 
lished about fifty monographs and more extensive treatises on 
the Western History of Dogma, most of which have referred to 
it. I have tried to make use of them for the new Edition, and 
I also proposed to make other additions and corrections on the 


original form of the book, without finding myself compelled to 
carry out changes in essential points. I have thankfully studied 
the investigations, published by Dilthey in the Archiv f Gesch. 
d. Philosophie, Vols. V. to VII., on the reformed system of 
doctrine in its relation to Humanism and the " natural system." 
He has examined the reformed conceptions in connections in 
which they have hitherto been seldom or only superficially con- 
sidered, and he has, therefore, essentially advanced a knowledge 
of them. 

Among the many objections to the plan of this work, and the 
critical standards observed in it, four are especially of importance. 
It has been said that in this account the development of Dogma 
is judged by the gospel, but that we do not learn clearly what 
the gospel is. It has further been maintained that the History 
of Dogma is depicted as a pathological process. Again, the 
plan of Book III., headed "The threefold outcome of Dogma," 
has been attacked. And, lastly, it has been declared that^ 
although the account marks a scientific advance, it yet bears too 
subjective or churchly a stamp, and does not correspond to the 
strictest claims of historical objectivity. 

As to the first objection, I believe that I have given a fuller 
account of my conception of the gospel than has been yet done 
in any text-book of the History of Dogma. But I gladly give 
here a brief epitome of my view. The preaching of Jesus con- 
tains three great main sections. Firstly, the message of the 
approaching Kingdom of God or of the future salvation; secondly^ 
the proclamation of the actual state of things and of thoughts, 
such as are given in Matthew VI. 25-34; VII. 7-1 1; IX. 2; X. 
28-33, etc. (see Vol. I., p. 74 f ) ; thirdly, the new righteousness 
(the new law). The middle section connected with Matthew 
XI. 25-30, and therefore also combined with the primitive 
Christian testimony regarding Jesus as Lord and Saviour, I hold, 
from strictly historical and objective grounds, to be the true 
main section, the gospel in the gospel, and to it I subordinate 
the other portions. That Christ himself expressed it under 
cover of Eschatology I know as well (Vol. I., p. 58) as the anti- 
quarians who have so keen an eye for the everlasting yesterday. 

As to the second objection I am at a loss. After the new 


religion had entered the Roman Empire, and had combined with 
it in the form of the universal Catholic Church, the History of 
Dogma shows an advance and a rise in all its main features 
down to the Reformation. I have described it in this sense 
from Origen to Athanasius, Augustine, Bernard, and Francis, to 
mystic Scholasticism and to Luther. It is to me a mystery how 
far the history should nevertheless have been depicted as a 
'' process of disease." Of course superstitions accumulated, as in 
every history of religion, but within this incrustation the indi- 
vidual ever became stronger, the sense for the gospel more active, 
and the feeling for what was holy and moral more refined and 
pure. But as regards the development from the beginnings of 
the evangelic message in the Empire down to the rise of the 
Catholic Church, I have not permitted myself to speculate how 
splendid it would have been if everything had happened differ- 
ently from what it did. On the other hand, I grant that I have 
not been able to join in praising the formation of that tradition 
and theology which has lowered immediate religion to one that 
is mediated, and has burdened faith with complicated theological 
and philosophical formulas. Just as little could it occur to me 
to extol the rise of that ecclesiastical rule that chiefly means 
obedience, when it speaks of faith. But in this there is no 
" pathology " ; the formations that arose overcame Gnostic- 

My critics have not convinced me that the conception followed 
by me in reference to the final offshoots of the History of Dogma 
is unhistorical. But I readily admit that the History of Dogma 
can also be treated as history of ecclesiastical theology, and that 
in this way the account can bring it down to the present time. 
Little is to be gained by disputing about such questions in an 
either-or fashion. If we regard Protestantism as a new 
principle which has superseded the absolute authority of Dogmas, 
then, in dealing with the History of Dogma, we must disregard 
Protestant forms of doctrine, however closely they may approxi- 
mate to ancient Dogma. But if we look upon it as a particular 
reform of Western Catholicism, we shall have to admit its 
doctrinal formations into that history. Only, even in that case, 
we must not forget that the Evangelical Churches, tried by the 


notion of a church which prevailed for 1300 years, are no churches. 
From this the rest follows of itself. 

Finally, as regards the last objection, I may apply chiefly to 
my account a verdict recently passed by a younger fellow- 
worker : — " The History of Dogma of to-day is, when regarded 
as science, a half thing." Certainly it is in its beginnings, and it 
falls far short of perfection. It must become still more circum- 
spect and reserved ; but I should fear, lest it be so purified in 
the crucible of this youngest adept — who meantime, however, is 
still a member of the numerous company of those who only give 
advice — that nothing of consequence would remain, or only that 
hollow gospel, " religion is history," which he professes to have 
derived from the teaching of four great prophets, from whom he 
could have learnt better. We are all alike sensible of the labours 
and controversies which he would evade ; but it is one of the 
surprises that are rare even in theology, that one of our number 
should be trying in all seriousness to divide the child between 
the contending mothers, and that by a method which would 
necessarily once more perpetuate the dispute that preceded the 
division. The ecclesiastics among Protestants, although they 
arrogate to themselves the monopoly of ** Christian " theology 
on the title-pages of their books, will never give up the claim to 
history and science ; they will, therefore, always feel it their duty to 
come to terms with the " other " theology. Nor will scientific 
theology ever forget that it is the conscience of the Evangelical 
Church, and as such has to impose demands on the Church 
which it serves in freedom. 

Berlin, nth July, 1897. ADOLF HARNACK. 





Expansion and Remodelling of Dogma into a Doctrine of Sin^ 
Grace^ and Means of Grace on the basis of the Church, 

CHAPTER I.— Historical- Situation .... 3—13 
Augustine the standard authority till the period of the Re- 
formation - - - . - - - 3 
Augustine and Western Christianity - - - - 3 
Augustine as Reformer of Christian Piety - - - 4 
Augustine as teacher of the Church . . ■ - 4 
Augustine and Dogma ..... 5 
Dogma in the Middle Ages ----- 6 
The German and Roman Peoples and Dogma - - 6 
Method of Mediaeval History of Dogma - - - 9 
Division into Periods - - - - - 12 

CHAPTER II.— Western Christianity and Western Theologians 

before Augustine ------ 14 — 60 

Tertullian as Founder of Western Christianity - - 14 
Elements of Tertullian's Christianity as elements of Western 

Christianity as a whole - - - - 14 

Law (lex) - - - - - - - 15 

Juristic element - - - - - 16 

Syllogistic and Dialectical - - - - 17 






Biblical and Practical ..... 

Eschatology and Morality ..... 

Cyprian's importance - . . . . 

The Roman Church ...... 

Revolution under Constantine : Origen's theology and 

Monachism are imported into the West - - - 

Grsecised Western Theology and the Old Latin type enter 

into Augustine --.--. 
The importance to Augustine of the Greek scholars Ambrose 

(p. 29) and Victorinus Rhetor - - - - 

The influence upon him of genuine Latins - 

Of Cyprian ---.... 

The Donatist Controversy - - - . - 

Optatus --...-. 

Ambrose as Latin ...... 

Results of Pre-Augustinian development ... 
Doctrine of the Symbol . . . . . 

Death of Christ ...... 

Soteriology --....- 

The Church --.-.-- 
Rome and Heathenism ..... 







CHAPTER in. — Historical Position of Augustine as Reformer 

of Christian Piety ---.-- 61 — 94 

General Characteristics - - - - - 61 

Augustine's new Christian self-criticism - > - 66 

Pre-Augustinian and Augustinian Piety • - - 67 

Sin and Grace the decisive factors in Augustine - - 69 

The changed tone of Piety - - - - - 72 

Criticism of this Piety - - - - - 75 

Four elements constituting the Catholic stamp of Piety - ^^ 

a Authority of Church for Faith - - - - 78 

/3 God and Means of Grace - - - - - 83 

7 Faith, Forgiveness of Sins, and Merit - - - ^1 

9 Pessimistic view of Present State - - - -9^ 

Concluding remarks - - - - - * 93 



CHAPTER IV. — Historical Position of Augustine as Teacher of 
the Church ------ 

The new Dogmatic Scheme - - . . 

The connection with the Symbol - - . - 

Discord between Symbol and Holy Scripture 
Discord between Scripture and the principle of Salvation - 
Discord between Religion and Philosophy - . - 

Discord between Doctrine of Grace and Ecclesiasticism - 
Contradictions within these series of conceptions - 
Impossibility of an Augustinian system . . - 

Universal influence of Augustine - . . 

Method of presenting Augustinianism ; Dogma and Augus- 
tine -..-.-- 

1. Augustine's Doctrines of the First and Last Things 
Augustine's Theology and Psychology (" Aristoteles Alter") 

were bom of Piety - . - . - 

Dissolution of the ancient feeling - - - - 

Psychological and Neo-Platonic view of the soul - 
The ethical views interwoven with this (God, world, soul, 

will, love) ------- 

Influence of Christian ecclesiasticism 

[On reason, revelation, faith, and knowledge] 
Authority of Christ and Christology 
Final aims in the other and this world 
Concluding observation - - - - - 

2. The Donatist Controversy. The Work : De civitate Dei, 

Doctrine of the Church and Means of Grace 
Introduction- .-.--. 

The Church as Doctrinal Authority - - - 

Unity of the Church . . - . . 

Its Holiness ------- 

Catholicity ------- 

Apostolicity and other attributes .... 

Church and Kingdom of God - - - . 

Word and Sacrament - - . . . 

The Sacraments ---.-- 
Lord's Supper ---..- 

Baptism .------ 











106 — 140 






140 — 168 









Ordination - - - - - - - i6i 

The Church as societas sacramentorum • - 163 

As a heavenly communion - - - - - 164 

As primeval ------- 164 

As communio fidelium r - - - 165 

As numerus electorum - - - - - 166 

Closing observations - - - - - 167 

3. The Pelagian Controversy. Doctrine of Grace and Sin - 168 — 221 
Augustine's Doctrine before the controversy - - 168 
General characteristics of Augustinianism and Pelagian- 
ism, as of Pelagius, Caelestius, and Julian - - 168 

Origin and nature of Pelagianism - - - - 172 

§ I. The outward course of the dispute - - - I73 

Pelagius and Cselestius in Rome and Carthage - 173 

Events in Palestine - - - - - ^77 

Events in North Africa and Rome - - - 181 

Condemnation in Rome ; Julian of Eclanum - 186 

Final Stages - - - - - - 187 

§ 2. The Pelagian Doctrine - - - - 188 
Agreement and differences between the leaders - 189 
The chief doctrines - - - - - 191 
The separate doctrines in their degree of con- 
formity to tradition - - - - 196 

§ 3. The Augustinian doctrine - - - . 203 

The doctrine of grace, predestination, redemption, 

and justification ..... 204 

Doctrine of sin, original sin, and the primitive state 210 

Criticism of Augustinianism ... - 217 

4. Augustine's explanation of the Symbol (Enchiridion ad 

Laurentium). New system of religion - - - 222 — 240 

Exposition of Article I. - - - - - 223 

Article II. - - - - - - - 225 

Article III. 228 

Criticism of this exposition ; old and new system of re- 
ligion ..---.. 234 

CHAPTER v.— History of Dogma in the West down to the 

beginning of the Middle Ages, A.D. 430-604 - - 241—273 

Historical position ------ 242 



1. Conflict between Semi-Pelagianism and Augustinianism - 245 — 261 
The monks of Hadrumetum and in South Gaul, Cassian - 246 
Prosper ----.-. 249 

De vocatione gentium - - - - - 250 

Liber Praedestinatus- - - • - - 251 

Faustus of Rhegium ..... 252 

Decree de libris recipiendis - - - - - 255 

The Scythian monks, Fulgentius, Hormisdas • * 255 

Csesarius of Aries, Synods of Valencia and Orange - 257 

Results ..----- 260 

2. Gregory the Great ------ 262 — 273 

General characteristics - - . . . 262 

Superstition, Christology, Intercessions - - - 263 

Doctrine of Sin and Grace ----- 266 

Merits, satisfactions, saints, relics, purgatory - - 267 

Penance -.--.-. 269 

Gregory's position between Augustine and the Middle Ages 270 

CHAPTER VI.— History of Dogma in the period of the Carlo- 

vingian Renaissance . - . . , 274 — 331 

The importance of the Carlovingian epoch in the History 

of Dogma and of the Church .... 274 

I a. The Adoptian Controversy ----- 278 — 292 

Genesis of the problem - - . - . 278 

Spanish affairs and the dispute in Spain. Teaching of 

Elipandus, Felix and Beat us is Augustinian - - 281 

Dispute before the Frankish and Roman tribunals - 287 

Alcuin's teaching. Influence of Greek conception - 289 

Connection with doctrine of the Lord's Supper - - 291 

Result .---.-- 292 

I 3. Controversy about Predestination - - - . 292 — 302 

The monk Gottschalk - - . . . 293 

Rabanus and Ratramnus, his opponents - - - 295 

Controversy among Frankish and Lothringian Bishops. 

Objective untruthfulness of Gottschalk's opponents. 

Synod at Chiersey . . - . - 299 

Synod at Valencia ------ 299 

Synods at Savoni^res and Toucy - - - - 300 



The theory consonant to Church practice holds the field 

under Augustinian formulas .... ^qx 

2. Dispute as to Xh^/ilioque and about images - - 302 — 508 
Tht filioque^ the Franks and the Pope - - - 302 
Attitude of the Franks to images .... 305 
The libri Carolini and the self-consciousness of the 

Frankish Church. Synod of Frankfurt ... 306 

Later history of images ..... 308 

3. Development of theory and practice of the Mass (the 

Dogma of the Lord's Supper) and of Penance - - 308 — 331 

The three causes of the development of theory of the 

Lord's Supper in the West .... 308 

The controversy departu virginis - - - - 310 

The Augustinian conception promoted by Beda checked 

by Alcuin - - - - - - -311 

Paschasius Radbertus - • - - - 312 

Rabanus and Ratramnus - - - - 318 

Ideas of the Mass as part of the institution of expiation - 323 
Practice of Confession : — 

a The notion of God at its root ... 323 

/3 Development of institution of penance from Roman 
Church and German premises, Influence of Mona- 

chism ..--.- 324 

7 Defective theory ..... 326 

8 Growth of satisfactions and indulgences - - 327 

^econb (pCkti. 



Expansion and Remodelling of Dog^a into a Doctrine of Sin, 
Grace and means of Grace on the basis of the Church. 

" Domini mors potentior erat quam vita . . . 
Lex Christianorum crux est sancta Christi." 

— Pseudo' Cyprian, 

" Die Ehrfurcht vor dem, was unter uns ist, ist ein Letztes 

wozu die Menschheit gelangen konnte und musste. Aber was 

gehorte dazu, die Erde nicht allein unter sich liegen zu lassen 

und sich auf einen hoheren Geburtsort zu berufen, sondern auch 

Niedrigkeit und Armuth, Spott und Verachtung, Schmach und 

Elend, Leiden und Tod als gottlich anzuerkennen, ja selbst 

Slinde und Verbrechen nicht als Hindernisse, sondern als 

Fordernisse des Heiligen zu verehren ! " 

— Goethe. 



The history of piety and of dogmas in the West was so 
thoroughly dominated by Augustine from the beginning of the 
fifth century to the era of the Reformation, that we must take 
this whole time as forming one period. It is indeed possible to 
doubt whether it is not correct to include also the succeeding 
period, since Augustinianism continued to exert its influence in 
the sixteenth century. But we are compelled to prefer the views 
that the Reformation had all the significance of a new move- 
ment, and that the revolt from Augustine was marked even in 
post-tridentine Catholicism, as well as, completely, in Soci- 
nianism.* In this second Book of the second Section, therefore, 
we regard the history of dogma of the West from Augustine to 
the Reformation as one complete development, and then, in 
accordance with our definition of dogma and its history,* we add 
the " final stages of dogma " in their triple form — Tridentine 
Catholicism, Socinianism, and Protestantism. 

2. In order rightly to appreciate the part played by Augustine, 
it is necessary first (Chap. II.) to describe the distinctive 
character of Western Christianity and Western theologians 

1 Baur, Vorles. ub. die christl. D.-G., 2nd vol., 1866. Bach, Die Dogmengeschichte 
des Mittelalters, 2 vols., 1873, 1^75* Seeberg, Die Dogmengesch. des Mittelalters 
(Thomasius, Die christl. Dogmengesch, 2 Ed., 2 vol., Division I.) 1888. All 
begin in the period after Augustine, as also Schwane, D.-G. der mittleren, Zeit 1882. 
Loofs, Leitfadea der D.-G., 3 Ed., 1893. Seeberg, Lehrbuch d. D.-G., Division I., 

*The complete breach with Augustine is indeed marked neither by Luther nor 
Ignatius Loyola, but first by Leibnitz, Thomasius, and — the Probabilists of the 
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. 

•Vol. L, § I. 


anterior to his appearance. It will then appear that while the 
West was prepared to favour Augustinianism, those very 
elements that especially characterised Western Christianity — 
the juristic and moralistic — resisted the Augustinian type of 
thought in matters of faith. This fact at once foreshadows the 
later history of Augustinianism in the Church. 

3. Augustine comes before us, in the first place, as a reformer 
of Christian piety, altering much that belonged to vulgar 
Catholicism, and carrying out monotheism strictly and thoroughly. 
He gave the central place to the living relation of the soul to 
God ; he took religion out of the sphere of cosmology and the 
cultus, and demonstrated and cherished it in the domain of the 
deepest life of the soul. On the other hand, we will have to 
show that while establishing the sovereignty of faith over all 
that is natural, he did not surmount the old Catholic foundation 
of the theological mode of thought ; further, that he was not 
completely convinced of the supremacy of the religious over the 
moral, of the personal state of faith over ecclesiasticism ; and 
finally, that in his religious tendencies, as generally, he remained 
burdened by the rubbish of ecclesiastical tradition. (Chap. III.) 

4. Augustine falls next to be considered as a Church teacher. 
The union of three great circles of thought, which he recon- 
structed and connected absolutely, assured him, along with the 
incomparable impression made by his inexhaustible personality, 
of a lasting influence. In the first place, he built up a complete 

4 circle of conceptions, which is marked by the categories, " God, 
the soul, alienation from God, irresistible grace, hunger for God, 
unrest in the world and rest in God, and felicity," a circle in 
which we can easily demonstrate the co-operation of Neo- 
platonic and monastic Christian elements, but which is really so 
pure and simple that it can be taken as the fundamental form 

^ of monotheistic piety in general. Secondly, he gave expression 
to a group of ideas in which sin, grace through Christ, grace in 
general, faith, love, and hope form the main points ; a Faulinism 
modified by popular Catholic elements. Thirdly, he constructed 

X another group, in which the Catholic Church is regarded as 
authority, dispenser of grace, and administrator of the sacra- 
ments, and, further, as the means and aim of all God's ordinances. 


Here he always constructed, along with a wealth of ideas, a pro- 
fusion of schemes — not formulas; he re-fashioned Dogmatics 
proper, and, speaking generally, gave the first impulse to a study 
which, as an introduction to Dogmatics, has obtained such an 
immense importance for theology and science since the Schol- 

5. On the other hand, Augustine always felt that he was, as re- 
gards Dognia^ an Epigone^ and he submitted himself absolutely to 
thetradition of the Church. Hewas wanting in thevigorousenergy 
in Church work shown, e,g,y by Athanasius, and in the impulse 
to force upon the Church va fixed formulas the truths that pos- 
sessed his soul. Consequently the result of his life-work on 
behalf of the Church can be described thus, (i) He established 
more securely in the West the ancient ecclesiastical tradition as 
authority and law. (2) He deepened and, comparatively speak- 
ing, Christianised the old religious tendency, (3) In the thought 
and life of the Church he substituted a plan of salvation^ along 
with an appropriate doctrine of the sacraments, for the old 
dogma ^ and the cultus, and instilled into heart and feeling the 
fundamental conception of his Christianity ;that divine grace 
was the beginning, middle, and end ; but he himself sought to 
harmonise the conception with popular Catholicism, and he ex- 
pressed this in formulas which, because they were not fixed and 
definite, admitted of still further concessions to traditional views. 
In a word, he failed to establish without admixture the new and 
higher religious style in which he constructed theology. There- 
fore the ancient Greek dogma which aimed at deification, as well 
as the old Roman conception of religion as a legal relationship, 
could maintain their ground side by side with it Precisely in 
the best of his gifts to the Churchy Augustine gave it impulses and 
problems^ but not a solid capital Along with this he transmitted 
to posterity a profusion of ideas, conceptions, and views which, 

1 The ancient dogma has thus formed building material in the West since Augustine. 
It has been deprived — ^at least in the most important respect — of its ancient purpose, 
and serves new ones. The stones hewn for a temple, and once constructed into a 
temple, now serve for the building of a cathedral. Or perhaps the figure is more 
appropriate that the old temple expanded into a cathedral, and wonderfully trans- 
formed, is yet perceptible in the cathedral. 


unsatisfactorily harmonised by himself, produced great friction, 
living movements, and, finally, violent controversies. 

6. As at the beginning of the history of the Latin Church 
Cyprian followed Tertullian, and stamped the character of 
ancient Latin Christianity, so Gregory the Great succeeded 
Augustine, and gave expression to the mediaeval character of 
Latin Christianity, a form which, under Augustinian formulas, 
often differs in whole and in details from Augustine. Dogma 
remains almost throughout, in the Middle Ages, the complex of 
Trinitarian and Christological doctrines which was handed down 
with the Symbol. But, besides this, an immense series of 
theological conceptions, of church regulations and statutes, 
already possessed a quasi-dogmatic authority. Yet, in acute 
cases, he could alone be expelled as a heretic who could be con- 
victed of disbelieving one of the twelve articles of the Symbol, 
or of sharing in the doctrines of heretics already rejected, />., of 
Pelagians, Donatists, etc. Thus it remained up to the time of 
the Reformation, although the doctrines of the Church — the 
Pope, and the sacraments, the ecclesiastical sacrament of pen- 
ance, and the doctrine of transubstantiation — claimed almost 
dogmatic authority, though only by being artificially connected 
with the Symbol. 

7. The consolidation of the ecclesiastical and dogmatic system 
into a legal order, in harmony with the genius of Western 
Christianity, was almost rendered perfect by the political history 
of the Church in the period of the tribal migrations. The 
Germans who entered the circle of the Church, and partly be- 
came fused with the Latins, partly, but under the leadership of 
Rome, remained independent, received Christianity in its 
ecclesiastical form, as something absolutely complete. There- 
fore, setting aside the Chauvinistic contention that the Germans 
were predisposed to Christianity,^ no independent theological 
movement took place for centuries on purely German soil. No 
German Christianity existed in the Middle Ages in the sense 
that there was a Jewish, Greek, or Latin form,* Even if the 

1 Seeberg, (Dogmengesch. des Mittelalters, p. 3), has repeated it. 
'Even the influence, which some have very recently sought to demonstrate, of 
German character on the formation of a few mediaeval theologumena is at least doubt- 


Germans may have attempted to make themselves more thor- 
oughly familiar with Latin Christianity, as e.g.^ the Slavs did 
with the Greek — we may recall the old Saxon harmony of the 
Gospels, etc — ^ yet there was a complete absence of any inde- 
pendence in consciously appropriating it, up to the settlement 
of the Begging orders in Germany, properly speaking, indeed, up 
to the Reformation. Complaints of Papal oppressions, or of 
external ceremonies, cannot be introduced into this question. 
The complainers were themselves Roman Christians, and the 
never-failing sectaries paid homage, not to a " German " 
Christianity, but to a form of Church which was also imported. 
If up to the thirteenth century there existed in Germany no in- 
dependent theology or science, still less was there any move- 
ment in the history of dogma.' But as soon as Germans, in 
Germany and England, took up an independent part in the 
inner movement of the Church, they prepared the way, supported 
indeed by Augustine, for the Reformation. The case was 
different on Roman territory. We need not, of course, look at 
Italy, for the land of the Popes steadily maintained its charac- 
teristic indifference to all theology as theology. Apocalyptic, 
socialistic, and revolutionary movements were not wanting ; 
Hippocrates and Justinian were studied ; but the ideals of 
thinkers seldom interested Italians, and they hardly ever troubled 
themselves about a dogma, if it was nothing more. Spain, also, 
very soon passed out of the intellectual movement, into which, 
besides, it had never thrown any energy. For eight centuries it 
was set the immense practical task of protecting Christendom 
from Islam : in this war it transformed the law of the Catholic 
religion into a military discipline. The Spanish history of dogma 
has been a blank since the days of Bishop Elipandus. 

fal (against Cremer). Die Wurzein des Anselm'schen Satisfactions-begrif& in the 
Theol. Stud. u. Kritik., i8So, p. 7 ff., 1893, p. 316 ff., and Seeberg, l.c. p. 123. 
Fnller details in I., ch. 7, Sect. 4. 

1 It was to the advantage, here and there, of simple piety that it had not co«operated 
in the construction of the Church. 

> Nitzsch, Deutsche Gesch., II., p. 15 : " (Up to the middle of the eleventh century) 
the task of administering property was more important to the German Church than 
the political and dogmatic debates of the neighbouring French hierarchy." See also 
DoUinger Akad. Vortrage, yol. II., Lecture I, at banning. 


Thus France alone remains. Tn so far as the Middle Ages^ 
down to the thirteenth century ^ possessed any dogmatic history^ it 
was to a very large extent Prankish or French} Gaul had been 
the land of culture among Latin countries as early as the fourth 
and fifth centuries. 'Mid the storms of the tribal migrations, 
culture maintained its ground longest in Southern Gaul, and 
after a short epoch of barbarism, during which civilisation 
seemed to have died out everywhere on the Continent, and 
England appeared to have obtained the leadership, France 
under the Carlovingians^of course, France allied with Rome 
through Boniface — came again to the front There it remained, 
but with its centre of gravity in the North, between the Seine 
and the Rhine. Paris was for centuries only second to Rome, 
as formerly Alexandria and Carthage had been.* The imperial 
crown passed to the Germans ; the real ruler of the world sat at 
Rome; but the "studium" — in every sense of the term — 
belonged to the French. Strictly speaking, even in France, 
there was no history of dogma in the Middle Ages. If the 
Reformation had not taken place, we would have been as little 
aware of any mediaeval history of dogma in the West as in the 
East ; for the theological and ecclesiastical movements of the 
Middle Ages^ which by no means professed to be new dogmatic 
efforts^ only claim to be received into the history of dogma because 
they ended in t/te dogmas of Trent on the one hand, and in the 
symbols of the Reformed Churches and Socinian Rationalism on 
the other. The whole of the Middle Ages presents itself in the 
sphere of dogmatic history as a transition period, the period 
when the Church was fixing its relationship to Augustine, and 
the numerous impulses originated by him. This period lasted 
so long, (i) because centuries had to elapse before Augustine 
found disciples worthy of him, and men were in a position even 
to understand the chain of ecclesiastical and theological edicts 

1 See the correct opinion of Jordanus of OsnabrUck (about 1285) that the 
Romans had received the sacerdotium^ the Germans the imperium, the French the 
stadium (Lorenz, Geschichtsquellen, 2 ed., vol. II., p. 296). 

3 See on the importance of North-Eastern France, Sohm in the Ztschr. d. 
Savigny-Stirtung. German Division I., p 3 fE, and Schrors, Hinkmar, p. 3 f. On 
Rome and Paris see Reuter, Gesch. d. Aufkl. I., p. 181. 

CHAP. L] historical SITUATION. 9 

handed down from antiquity ; (2) because the Roman genius of 
the Western Church and the Augustinian spirit were in part ill- 
assorted, and it was therefore a huge task to harmonise them ; 
and (3) because at the time when complete power had been 
gained for the independent study of Church doctrine and 
Augustine, a new authority, in mapy respects more congenial to 
the spirit of the Church, appeared on the scene, viz,y Augustine's 
powerful rival,^ Aristotle. The Roman genius, the superstition 
which, descending from the closing period of antiquity, was 
strengthened in barbarous times, Augustine, and Aristotle — 
these are the four powers which contended for their inter- 
pretation of the gospel in the history of dogma in the Middle 

8. The Middle Ages experienced no dogmatic decisions like 
those of Nicaea or Chalcedon. After the condemnation of 
Pelagians and Semipelagians, Monothelites, and Adoptians, the 
dogmatic circle was closed. The actions in the Carlovingian 
age against images, and against Ratramnus and Gottschalk 
were really of slight importance, and in the fights with later 
heretics, so many of whom disturbed the mediaeval Church, 
old weapons were used, new ones being in fact unnecessary. 
The task of the historian of dogma is here, therefore, very 
difficult In order to know what he ought to describe, to be as 
just to ancient dogma in its continued influence as to the new 
quasi-dogmatic Christianity in whose midst men lived, he must 
fix his eyes on the beginning, Augustine, and the close, the 
sixteenth century. Nothing belongs to the history of dogma 
which does not serve to explain this final stage, and even then 
only on its dogmatic side, and this again may be portrayed only 
in so far as it prepared the way for the framing of new doctrines, 
or the official revision of the ancient dogmas. 

If my view is right, there are three lines to which we have to 
turn our attention. In the first place we must examine the 
history of pieiVy in so far as new tendencies were formed in it, 
based on, or existing side by side with Augustinianism ; for the 
piety which was determined by other influences led also to the 

> The derisive title of Augustine — " Aristoteles Poenorum " — was prophetic. He 
got this name from Julian of Eclanum, Aug. Op. imperf., III., 199. 


construction of other dogmatic formulas. But the history of 
piety in the Middle Ages is the history of monachism.^ We 
may therefore conjecture that if monachism really passed 
through a history in the Middle Ages, and not merely endless 
repetitions, it cannot be indifferent for the history of dogma. 
As a matter of fact, it will be shown that Bernard and Francis 
were also doctrinal Fathers. We may here point at once to 
the fact that Augustine, at least apparently, reveals a hiatus in 
his theology as dominated by piety ; he was able to say little 
concerning the work of Christ in connection with his system of 
vdoctrine, and his impassioned love of God was not clearly 
connected in theory with the impression made by Christ's 
death, or with Christ's "work." What a transformation, what 
an access of fervour, Augustinianism had to experience, when 
impassioned love to the Eternal and Holy One found its object 
in the Crucified, when it invested with heavenly glory, and 
referred to the sinful soul, all traits of the beaten, wounded, and 
dying One, when it began to reflect on the infinite " merits " of 
its Saviour, because the most profound of thoughts had dawned 
upon it, that the suffering of the innocent was salvation in 
history ! Dogma could not remain unaffected by what it now 
found to contemplate and experience in the "crucified" Saviour 
of Bernard, the "poor" Saviour of Francis.^ We may say 
briefly that, by the agency of the mediaeval religious virtuosi 
and theologians, the close connection between God, the " work ** 
of Christ, and salvation was ultimately restored in the Triden- 
tine and ancient Lutheran dogma. The Greek Church had 
maintained and still maintains it ; but Augustine had loosened 
it, because his great task was to show what God is, and what 
salvation the soul requires. 

In the second place, we have to take the doctrine of the 
Sacraments into consideration ; for great as were the impulses 

1 See Ritschl, Gesch. des Pietismus, vol. I., p. 7 ff., and my Vortrag Uber das 
Monchthum, 3 ed. 

s Bernard prepared the way for transforming the Neoplatonic exerdtium of the 
contemplation of the All and the Deity into methodical reflection on the sufferings of 
Christ. Gilbert says : *' Dilectus meus, inquit sponsa, candidus et rubicundus. In 
hoc nobis et candet Veritas et rubet caritas. *' 


given here also by Augustine, yet everything was incomplete 
which he transmitted to the Church. But the Church as an 
institution and training-school required the sacraments above 
all, and in its adherence to Augustine it was precisely his 
sacramental doctrine, and the conception connected therewith 
of gradual justification, of which it laid hold. We shall have to 
show how the Church developed this down to the sixteenth 
century, how it idealised itself in the sacraments, and fashioned 
them into being its peculiar agencies. In the third place, we 
have to pursue a line which is marked for us by the names of 
Augustine and Aristotle — fides and ratio, auctoritas and ratio, 
intelligentia and ratio. To investigate this thoroughly would 
be to write the history of mediaeval science in general. Here, 
therefore, we have only to examine it, in so far as there were 
developed in it the same manifold fashioning of theological 
thought, and those fundamental views which passed into the 
formulas, and at the same time into the contents of the doctrinal 
creations, of the sixteenth century, and which ultimately almost 
put an end to dogma in the original sense of the term. But we 
have also to include under the heading "Augustine and Aristotle" 
the opposition between the doctrine of the enslaved will and 
free grace and that of free will and merit. The latter shattered 
Augustinianism within Catholicism. 

We cannot trace any dogma regarding the Church in the 
Middle Ages until the end of the thirteenth century, but this 
is only because the Church was the foundation and the latent 
co-eflScient of all spiritual and theological ' movement^ Our 
account has to make this significance of the Church explicit, 
and in doing so to examine the growth of papal power ; for in 
the sixteenth century the claim of the Pope was in dispute. On 
this point the Western Church was split up. But further, 
Augustine had given a central place to the question of the 
personal position of the Christian^ confusing it, however, by un- 
certain references to the Church and to the medicinal effect of 

1 The opposition to a sacerdotal Church which existed at all times, and was 
already strong in the thirteenth century, left no lasting traces down to the fourteenth. 
In this century movements began on the soil of Catholicism which led to new forms 
of the conception of the Church and compelled it to fix definitively its own. 


the means of grace. And the mediseval movement, in propor- 
tion as the Church and the sacraments came to the front with- 
out any diminution of the longing for an independent faith,^ was 
led to the question of personal assurance. On th«s point also — 
justification — the Western Church was rent asunder.* Thus an 
account of the history of dogma in the Middle Ages will only 
be complete if it can show how the questions as to the power 
of the Church (of the Pope, the importance of the Mass and 
sacraments) and justification came to the front, and how in 
these questions the old dogma, not indeed outwardly, but really, 
perished. In Tridentine Catholicism it now became completely, 
along with its new portions, a body of law; in Protestantism it was 
still retained only in as far as it showed itself, when compared 
with the Divine Word, to express the Gospel, to form a bond 
with the historical past, or to serve as the basis of personal 
assurance of salvation. 

There can be no doubt about the division into periods. After 
an introduction on Western Christianity and Theology before 
Augustine, Augustinianism falls to be described. Then we have 
to discuss the epochs of (i) the Semipelagian controversies and 
Gregory 1. ; (2) the Carlovingian Renaissance ; (3) the period of 
Clugny and Bernard (the eleventh and twelfth centuries) ; and 
(4) the period of the mendicant orders, as also of the so-called 
Reformers before the Reformation, /.^., of revived Augustinianism 
(thirteenth and fifteenth centuries). The Middle Ages only 
reached their climax after the beginning of the thirteenth century 
and, having grown spiritually equal to the material received from 
the ancient Church, then developed all individual energies and 
conceptions. But then at once began the crises which led to the 

1 In the Middle Ages every advance in the development of the authority and 
power of the Church was accompanied by the growing impression that the Church 
was corrupt. This impression led to the suspicion that it had become Babylon, and 
to despair of its improvement. 

s On this most important point the schism went beyond Augustine ; for in the 
Middle Ages, as regards the ground and assurance of faith, Augustine of the Con- 
fessions and doctrine of predestination was played off against Augustine the apologist 
of the Catholic Church. Luther, however, abandoned both alike, and followed a 
view which can be shown to exist in Augustine and in the Middle Ages at most in a 
hidden undercurrent. 


Renaissance and Humanism, to the Reformation, Socinianism and 
Tridentine Catholicism. It is, therefore, impossible to delimit 
two periods within the thirteenth to the fifteenth century ; for 
Scholasticism and Mysticism, the development of the authorita- 
tive. Nominalist, dogmatics, and the attempts to form new 
doctrines, are all interwoven. Refortnation and Counter-re- 
formation have a common root. 




The distinctive character of Western Christianity has been 
frequently referred to in our earlier volumes. We may now, 
before taking up Augustine and the Church influenced by him, 
appropriately review and describe the Christianity into which he 
entered, and on which he conferred an extraordinarily prolonged 
existence and new vital energies by the peculiar form and train- 
ing to which he subjected it. It was the Roman Church that 
transmitted Christianity to the Middle Ages. But it might 
almost be named the Augustinian-Gregorian^ with as much justice 
as that of the Augsburg Confession is called the Lutheran. 

If, however, we ascend the history of the Latin Church to as 
near its origin as we can, we find ourselves confronted by a man 
in whom the character and the future of this Church were already 
announced, viz,^ TertuUian. Tertullian and Augustine are the 
Fathers of the Latin Church in so eminent a sense that, measured 
by them, the East possessed no Church Fathers at all.* The 
only one to rival them, Origen, exerted his influence in a 
more limited sphere. Eminently ecclesiastical as his activity 
was, his Christianity was not really ecclesiastical, but esoteric. 
His development and the import of his personal life were almost 
without significance for the mass ; he continued to live in his 
books and among theologians. But with Tertullian and Augus- 

1 After Gregory I. 

3 Mohler says very justly, from the Catholic standpoint (Patrologie, p. 737) : " We 
are often surprised for a moment, and forget that in Tertullian we have before us a 
writer of the beginning of the third century, we feel so mush at home in reading 
the language, often very familiar to us, in which he discusses difficult questions con- 
cerning dogmatics, morals, or even the ritual of the Church." 



tine it was different. It is true that only a fraction of Tertul- 
lian's teaching was retained, that he was tolerated by posterity 
only in Cyprian's reduced version, and that Augustine became 
more and more a source of uneasiness to, and was secretly op- 
posed by, his Church. Yet both passed into the history of the 
Western Catholic Church with their personality, with the charac- 
teristics of their Christian thought and feeling. The frictions and 
unresolved dissonances, in which they wore themselves out, were 
transmitted to the future as well as the concords they sounded, 
and the problems, which they could not master in their own 
inner experience, became the themes of world-historical spiritual 
conflicts.^ We can exhibit the superiority of Western to Eastern 
Christianity at many points ; we can even state a whole series of 
causes for this superiority ; but one of the most outstanding is 
the fact that while the East was influenced by a commonplace 
succession of theologians and monks, the West was moulded by 
Tertullian and Augustine. 

Roman Christianity, still (c. i8o) essentially Greek in form, 
but already with important features of its own,^ had won the 
Great African to its service.* It had already transmitted to him 
Latin translations of Biblical books; but on this foundation 
Tertullian laboured, creating both thought and language, because 
he was able thoroughly to assimilate the new faith, and to ex- 
press his whole individuality in it* 

In doing so he adopted all the elements which tradition 
offered him. First, as a Christian Churchman, he took up the 
old enthusiastic and rigorous, as well as the new anti-heretical, 
faith. He sought to represent both, and in his sovereign law to 
verify the strict lex of the ancient disciplina^ founded on eschato- 

* Ultimately men were content, indeed, with preserving the inconsistencies, treating 
them as problems of the schools, and ceasing to attempt to solve them ; for time 
makes even self-contradictions tolerable, and indeed to some extent hallows them. 

s See the i £p. of Clement, also the tractate on The Players, and the testimonies 
K>i Ignatius, Dionysius of Corinth and others as to the old Roman Church. 

* De praescr. 36 : "Si Italise adjaces habes Romam, unde nobis auctoritas quoque 
praesto est." 

^ On Church Latin, see Koffmane's work, which contains much that is valuable, 
Gesch. des Kirchenlateins, 1879-1881. 


logical hopes, and allied with unrestrained pneumatic dogmatics, 
and also the strict lex of the new rule of faith, which seemed 
ancient, because the heretics were undoubtedly innovators. He 
sought to be a disciple of the prophets and an obedient son of 
his Episcopal teachers. While he spent his strength in the fruit- 
less attempt to unite them,^ he left both forces as an inheritance 
to the Church of the West If the history of that Church down 
to the sixteenth century exhibits a conflict between orthodox 
clerical and enthusiastic, between biblical and pneumatic 
elements, if monachism here was constantly in danger of running 
into apocalyptics and enthusiasm, and of forming an opposition 
to the Episcopal and world-Church, all that is foreshadowed in 

A further element, which here comes before us, is the juristic. 
We know that jurisprudence and legal thought held the chief 
place in mediaeval philosophy, theology, and ethics.* Post- 
apostolic Greek Christians had, indeed, already put Christianity 
forward as the " law," and the Roman community may have 
cultivated this view with peculiar energy ; ^ but in and by itself 
this term is capable of so many meanings as to be almost 
neutral. Yet through the agency of TertuUian, by his earlier 
profession a lawyer, all Christian forms received a legal impress. 
He not only transferred the technical terms of the jurists into 
the ecclesiastical language of the West, but he also contemplated, 
from a legal standpoint, all relations of the individual and the 
Church to the Deity, and vice versd, all duties and rights, the 

I See our expositions of this in Vol. II., p. 67 if., 108 ff., 128 f., 311 f. 

3 See V. Schulte, Gesch. der Quellen und Lit. d. kanonischen Rechts, Vol. I., pp. 
92-103, Vol. II., p. 512 f. Also his Gedanken iiber Aufgabe und Reform d. jurist. 
Studiums, 1881 : ** The science of law was in practice the leading factor in Church 
and State from the twelfth century." That it is so still may, to save many words, 
be confirmed by a testimony of D6Uinger*s. In a memorable speech on Phillips he says, 
(Akad. Vortrage, Vol. II., p. 185 f.) : •* Frequent intercourse with the two closely- ! 

allied converts, larcke and Phillips, showed me how an ultramontane and papistical 
conception of the Christian religion was especially suggested and favoured by legal 
culture and mode of thought, which was dominated, even in the case of Germao 
specialists like Phillips, not by ancient German, but Roman legal ideas." 

3 On the designation of Holy Scripture as 'Mex" in the West, see Zahn, Gesch. 
d. neutestamentlichen Kanous, I. i, p. 95 f. 1 


moral imperative as well as the actions of God and Christ, 
nay, their mutual relationship. He who was so passionate and 
fanciful seemed never to be thoroughly satisfied until he had 
found the scheme of a legal relationship which he could pro- 
claim as an inviolable authority ; he never felt secure until he 
had demonstrated inner compulsions to be external demands, 
exuberant promises to be stipulated rewards. But with this the 
scheme of personal rights was applied almost universally. God 
appears as the mighty partner who watches jealously over his 
rights. Through Tertullian this tendency passed into the 
Western Church, which, being Roman, was disposed to favour 
it ; there it operated in the most prejudicial way. If we grant 
that by it much that was valuable was preserved, and juristic 
thought did contribute to the understanding of some, not 
indeed the most precious, Pauline conceptions, yet, on the 
whole, religious reflection was led into a false channel, the ideas 
of satisfaction and merit becoming of the highest importance, 
and the separation of Western from primitive and Eastern 
Christianity was promoted.^ 

Another element is closely connected with the legal, viz,, the 
syllogistic and dialetical. Tertullian has been extolled as a 
speculative theologian ; but this is wrong. Speculation was 
not his forte ; we perceive this very plainly when we look at his 
relation to Irenaeus. Notice how much he has borrowed from 
this predecessor of his, and how carefully he has avoided, in 
doing so, his most profound speculations ! Tertullian was a 
Sophist in the good and bad sense of the term. He was in his 
element in Aristotelian and Stoic dialectics ; in his syllogisms 
he is a philosophising advocate. But in this also he was the 
pioneer of his Church, whose theologians have always reasoned 
more than they have philosophised. The manner in which he 
rings the changes on auctoritas and ratio, or combines them, 
and spins lines of thought out of them ; the formal treatment of 
problems, meant to supply the place of one dealing with the 
matter, until it ultimately loses sight of aim and object, and 
falls a prey to the delusion that the certainty of the conclusion 

1 Consider, e.g., a sentence like this of Cyprian De unit. 15 : *' Justitia opus est, 
ut promereri quis possit deum judicem." 



guarantees the certainty of the premises-^this whole method 
only too well known from mediaeval Scholasticism, had its 
originator in Tertullian.^ In the classical period of eastern 

^ A series of legal schemes framed byTertuUianfor his dogmatics and ethics have been 
given in Vol. II., 279 f., 294 f., Vol. IV. pp. iio» 121. In addition to his speculation 
on substantia f persona^ and status ^ the categories offendere, satisfacere, promereri^ ac- 
teptare^ and rependerc^ etc., play the chief part in his system. Most closely connected 
with the legal contemplation of problems is the abstract reference to authority ; for 
one does not obey a law because he finds it to be good and just, but because it is law. 
(Tertullian, indeed, knows very well, when defending himself against heathen in^nu- 
ations, that the above dictum is not sufficient in the sphere of religion and morals, 
see e,g, , Apolog. 4. ) This attitude of Tertullian, led up to by his dialectical procedure 
and his alternations between auctoHtas and ratio, produces in many passages the im- 
piession that we are listening to a mediaeval Catholic In regard to the alternation 
above described, the work De corona is especially characteristic ; but so is Adv. Marc. 
I. , 23 f. He writes, De psenit 4 : " Nos pro nostris angustiis unum inculcamus, bonum 
atque optimum esse quod deus praecipit Audaciam existimo de bono divini pnecepti 
disputare. Neque enim quia bonum est, idcirco auscultare debemns, sed quia deus 
prsecepit. Ad ezhibitionem obsequii prior est majestas divinie potestatis, prior est 
auctoritas imperantis quam utilitas servientis.*' (Compare Scorp. 2, 3 ; De fiiga, 4; 
De cor. 2.) But the same theologian writes, De paen. i : "Res dei ratio, quia 
deus nihil non ratione providit, nihil non ratione tractari intellegique voluit" The 
work De paenit. is in general peculiarly fitted to initiate us into Tertullian's style of 
thought. I shall in the sequel pick out the most important points, and fiimish 
parallels from his other writings. Be it noticed first that the work emphasises the 
three parts, vera poenitentia (deflere, metus dei), conftssio and satisfaction and then 
adds the venia on the part of the cffensus deus. 

In chap. II. we already meet with the expression "merita psenitentise." There we 
read : " ratio salutis certam formatn tenet, ne bonis umquam factis cogitatisve quasi 
violenta aliqua manus injiciatur. Deus enim reprobationem bonorum ratam non 
habens, utpote suorum, quorum cum auctor et defensor sit necesse est, proinde et 
acceptator, si acceptator etiam remunerator . . . bonum factum deum habet debitorem^ 
sicuti et malum, quia judex oninis remunerator est causa.*' (De orat 7 : " pseni- 
tentia demonstratur acceptabi/is deo;*' we have also " commendatior "). Chap. III. : 
** Admissus ad dominica pnecepta ex ipsis statim eruditur, id peccato deputandum, a 
quo deus arceat." (The distinction between prsecepta and consilia dominica is 
familiar in Tertullian ; see Ad. uxor. II. i ; De coron. 4 ; Adv. Marc. II. 17. In 
Adv. Marc. I. 29, he says that we may not reject marriage altogether, because if we 
did there would be no meritorious sanctity. In Adv. Marc I. 23, the distinction is 
drawn between **dcbita" and "indebita bonitas"). Chap. III. : "Voluntas facti 
origo est ; " a disquisition follows on vet/e, concupisccre, perficere. Chap. V. : " Ita 
qui per delictoram pcenitentiam instituerat dominus satisfacere, diabolo per aliae 
paenitentise psenitentiam satisfaciel^ eritque tanto magis perosus deo, quanto semulo 
ejus acceptus.*' (See De orat. 11;** fratri satisfacere," 18 ; " discipline satisfacere," 
23 ; satisfacimus deo domino nostro " ; De jejun. 3 ; De pud. 9, 13 ; De pat. 10, 13, 
.etc., etc. : "peccator patri satisfacit,*' namely, through his penances ; see De pad. 
13 : "hie jam carnis interitum in officium psenitentiae interpretantur, quod videatar 


theology men did not stop at aiictoritas zxiA ratio; they sought to 
reach the inner convincing phases of authority, and understood 
by ratio the reason determined by the conception of the matter 

jejuniis et sordibus et incuria omni et dedita opera malaa tractationis carDem extermin- 
ando satis deo &cere '*). In ch. V. it is explained quite in the Catholic manner that 
timor is the fundamental form of the religious relation. Here, as in countless other 
passages, the *' deus oflfensus " moves TertuUian's soul (see De paL 5 : *' hinc deus 
izasci exorsus, unde ofiendere homo inductus. ") Fear dominates the whole of peni- 
tence. (De psenit. 6: '*metus est instrumentum paenitentise." In general 
**offendere deum ** and *'satisfacere deo" are the proper technical terms; see De 
psen. 7 : "ofiendisti, sed reconciliari adhuc potes ; habes cui satisfacias et quidem 
volentem." Ch. X. : *' intolerandum scilicet pudori, domino offenso satisfacere." 
Ch. XI. : ** castigationem victus atquecultus offenso domino prsestare." Along with 
satisfacere we have "deum iratum, indignatum mitigare, placare, reconciliare." Ch. 
VI : *' omnes salutis in promerendo dco petitores sumus.*' Compare with this *' pro- 
mereri deum " Scorp. 6: **quomodo multse mansiones apud patrem, si non pro 
varietate meritorum . . . porro et si fidei propterea congruebat sublimitati et clari- 
tatis aliqua prolatio, tale quid esse opportueiat illud emolumenti^ quod magno constaret 
labore, cruciatu, tormento, morte . • . eadem pretia qua et merces,^^ De orat. 2 : 
"meritum fidei." 3 : "nos angelorum, si meruimus, candidati" ; 4 : " merita cu- 
jusque." De peenit. 6 : ** catechumenus mereri cupit baptismum, timet adhuc delin- 
quere, ne non mereretur accipere." De pat. 4 : **artificium promerendi obsequium 
est, obsequii vero disdplina morigera subjectio est" De virg. vel., 13 : *' deus Justus 
est ad remuneranda quce soli sibi fiunt" De exhort. I : "nemo indulgentia dei 
ntendo promeretur, sed voluntati obsequendo;" 2: "deus quse vult preecipit et 
accepto facit et aetemitatis mercede dispungit." De pud. 10 : " psenitentiam deo im- 
molare . . . magis merebitur fructum psenitentise qui nondum ea usus est quam qui 
jam et abusus est." De jejun. 3 : " ratio promerendi deum" [jejunium iratum deum 
homini reconciliat, ch. VII.]; 13: "ultro offidum facere deo." How familiar and im- 
portant in general is to TertulUan the thought of performing a service, a favour to 
God, or of furnishing him with a spectacle I He indeed describes as a heathen idea 
(Apolog. 11) the sentence: "conlatio divinitatis meritorum remunerandorum fuit 
ratio" ; but he himself comes very near it ; thus he says (De exhortat 10) : " per 
coQtinentiam negotiaberis magnam substcmtiam sanctitatisy parsimonia carnis spiritum 
acquires." He sternly reproves, Scorp. 15, the saying of the " Lax " : Christus non 
vicem passionis si tit ; he himself says (De pat 16) : ** rependamus Chiisti patientiam, 
quam pro nobis ipse dependit" De psenit 6 : " Quam porro ineptum, quam pseni- 
tentiam non adimplere, d veniam delictorum sustinere ? l/bc est pretium non ex- 
hiberty ad mtrcem manum emitterc^ Hoc enim predo dominus veniam addicere in- 
stituit ; hac psenitentiae compenscUione redimendam proponit impunitatem," (see Scorp. 
6: "nulli compensatio invidiosa est, in qua aut gratise aut injurise communis est 
ratio"). In Ch. VI. Tertnllian uses "imputare," and this word is not rarely found 
along with " reputare " ; in Ch. VII. we have " indulgentia " (indulgere), and these 
terms are met somewhat frequently ; so also "restituere" (ch. VII. 12 : "restitutio 
peccatoris "). De pat. 8 : " tantum relevat conftssio delictorum, quantum dissimu- 
latioexaggerat ; confesno omni satisfactionis consilium est J** Further, ch. IX.: " Hujus 
igitur paenitentisesecundse et unius quanto in arte negotium est, tanto optrosior prabatio 


in question. In the West, auctoritas and ratio stood for a very 
long time side by side without their relations being fixed — ^see 
the mediaeval theologians from Cassian — and the speculation 
introduced by Augustine was ultimately once more eliminated, 

(that sounds quite mediaeval), ut non sola conscientia prseferatur, sed aliquo etiam actu 
administretur. Is actus, qui magis Grsco vocabulo exprimitur et frequentatur, ex- 
omologesis est, qua delictum domino nostro confitemur, non quidem ut ignaro, sed 
quatenus satisfacHo confessionc disponitur^ confessione paenitentia nascitur, paniUniia 
dots mitigatur. Concerning this exhomologesis, this tearful confession, he goes on : 
"commendat paenitentiam dco et temporali afflicitUione isterna supplicia non dicam 
frustratur sed exptmgity (" Commendare" as used above is common, see e,g,^ De 
virg. vel. 14, and Depat. 13 : *' patientia corporis [penances] precationes commendat, 
deprecationes affirmat ; hsec aures Christi aperit, clementiam elicit."). The conception 
is also distinctly expressed by TertuIIian that in the ceremony of penance the Church 
completely represents Christ himself, see ch. X. : " in uno et altero ecclesia est, 
eccUsia vtro Christus, Ergo cum te ad fratrum genua protendis, Christum contrectas, 
Christum exoras,*^ De pudic. 10, shows how he really bases pardon solely on the 
'*cessatio delicti"; ''etsivenia est paenitentiae fructus, banc quoque consistere non 
licet sine cessatione delicti. Ita cessatio delicti radix est venia ut venia sit panitentia 
fructus.*^ Further ch. II. : "omne delictum aut venia dispungit aut poena, venia ex 
castigatione, poena ex damnatione"; but *'satisfactio" is implied in the *'castigatio." 
In De pudic. i the notorious lax edict of Calixtus is called " liberalitas " (venia) i.e,^ 
•* indulgence." Let us further recall some formulas which are pertinent here. Thus 
we have the often-used Bgure of the "militia Christi," and the regimental oath — 
sacramentum. So also the extremely characteristic alternation between ''gratia" and 
''voluntas humana," most clearly given in De exhort. 2 : " non est bonae et solidae 
fidei sic omnia ad voluntatem dei referre et ita adulari unum quemque dicendo nihil 
fieri sine nutu ejus, ut non intellegamus, esse aliquid in nobis ipsis. • . . Non debemus 
quod nostro expositum est arbitrio in domini referre voluntatem " ; Ad uxor. 1,8: 
'* quaedam enim sunt divinae liberalitatis, quaedam nostras operationis." Then we 
have the remarkable attempt to distinguish two wills in God, one manifest and one 
hidden, and to identify these with praecepta and consilia, in order ultimately to 
establish the "hidden" or "higher" alone. De exhort. 2 f. : "cum solum sit in 
nobis velle, et in hoc probatur nostra erga deum mens, an ea velimus quae cum volun- 
tate ipsius faciunt, alte et impresse recogitandum essedico dei voluntatem, quid etiam 
in occulto velit. Quae enim in manifesto scimus omnes." Now follows an exposi- 
tion on the two wills in God, the higher, hidden, and proper one, and the lower : 
" Deus ostendens quid magis velit, minorem voluntatem majore delevit. Quant oque 
notitiae tuae utrumque proposuit, tanto deBniit, id te sectari debere quod declaravit se 
magis velle. Ergo si ideo declaravit, ut id secteris quod magis vult, sine dubio, nUi 
ita facis, contra voluntatem ejus sapis, sapiendo contra potiorem ejus voluntatem, 
magisque offendis quam promereris, quod vult quidem faciendo et quod mavult re- 
spuendo. Ex parte delinquis ; ex parte, si non delinquis, non tamen promereris. 
Non porro et promereri nolle delinquere est? Secundum igitur matrimonium, si est 
ex ilia dei voluntate qua indulgentia vacatur, etc., etc." On the other hand, see the 
sharp distinction between sins of ignorance (" natural sins") and sins of " conscientia 
et voluntas, ubi et culpa sapit et gratia," De pud. 10. 


as IS proved by the triumph of Nominah'sm. Stoic, or " Aris- 
totelian " rationalism, united with the recognition of empirical 
authority under cover of Augustinian religious formulas, re- 
mained the characteristic of Roman Catholic dogmatics and 

But the Western type of thought possessed, besides this, an 
element in which it was considerably superior to the Eastern, 
the psychological view. The importance due to Augustine in 
this respect has been better perceived in recent years, and we 
may look for better results as regards the share of Scholasticism 
in the development of modern psychology.* In Augustine him- 
self Stoic rationalism was thrust strongly into the background by 
his supreme effort to establish the psychology of the moral and 
immoral, the pious and impious on the basis of actual observa- 
tion. His greatness as a scientific theologian is found essentially 
in the psychological element But that also is first indicated in 
Tertullian. As a moralist he indeed follows, so far as he is a 
philosopher, the dogmatism of the Stoa ; but Stoic physics 
could lead into an empirical psychology. In this respect Ter- 
tullian's great writing, " De anima," is an extremely important 
achievement. It contains germs of insight and aspirations 
which developed afterwards ; and another Western before Augus- 
tine, Arnobius, also did better work in grasping problems 
psychologically than the great theologians of the East' This 

1 Augustine has also employed both notions in countless places since the writings 
De Ordine (see II. 26 : ad discendum necessarie dupliciter ducimur, auctoritate 
atque ratione) and De vera religione (45 : animae medicina distribuitur in auctoritatem 
atque rationem). 

* See Kahl, Die Lehre vom Primat des Willens bei Augustin, Duns Scotus und 
Descartes 1886, as also the works of Siebeck ; cf. his treatise " Die AnfUnge der 
neueren Psychologic in der Scholastik" in the Ztschr. f. Philos. u. philosoph. 
Kritik. New series. 93 Vol., p. 161 if., and Dilthey's Einl. in d. Geisteswiss. 

s See Franke, Die Psychologic und Erkenntnisslehre des Arnobius, 1878, in which 
the empiricism and criticism of this eclectic theologian are rightly emphasised. The 
perception that Arnobius was not original, but had taken his refutation of Platonism 
from Lucretius, and also that he remained, after becoming a Christian, the rhetorician 
that he had been before (see ROhricht Seelenlehre des Arnobius, Hamburg, 1893), 
cannot shake the fact that his psychology is influenced by the consciousness of 


side of Western theology undoubtedly continued weak before 
Augustine, because the eclecticism and moralism to which Cicero 
had especially given currency held the upper hand through the 
reading of his works.^ 

Finally, still another element falls to be mentioned which 
distinguishes the features of Western Christianity from the East- 
ern, but which it is hard to summarise in one word. Many have 
spoken of its more practical attitude. But in the East, Christi- 
anity received as practical a form as people there required. 
What is meant is connected with the absence of the speculative 
tendency in the West. To this is to be attributed the fact that 
the West did not fix its attention above all on deification, nor, in 
consequence, on asceticism, but kept real life more distinctly in 
view ; it therefore obtained to a greater extent from the gospel 
what could rule and correct that life. Thus Western Christi- 
anity appears to us from the first more popular and biblical, as 
well as more ecclesiastical. It may be that this impression is 
chiefly due to our descent from the Christianity in question, and 
that we can never therefore convey it to a Greek* ; but it is un- 
deniable that as the Latin idiom ot the Church was from its 
origin more popular than the Greek, which always retained 
something hieratic about it, so the West succeeded to a greater 
extent in giving effect to the words of the gospel. For both of 
these facts we have to refer again to Tertullian. He had the 
gift, granted to few Christian writers, of writing attractively, both 
for theologians and laymen. His style, popular and fresh, 
must have been extremely effective. On the other hand, 
he was able, in writings like De patientia, De oratione, De 
paenitentia, or De idololatria, to express the gospel in a concrete 
and homely form ; and even in many of his learned and polemi- 
cal works, which are full of paradoxes, antitheses, rhetorical 

^ Compare especially Minucius Felix and Lactantius. 

s Conversely it is quite intelligible that he who has starte<l with the ideals of classic 
antiquity, and has assimilated them, should derive more pleasure from men like 
Clemens Alex. Origen and Gregory of Nazianzus than from Tertullian and 
Augustine. But this sympathy is less due to the Christianity of the former scholars. 
We are no longer directly moved by the religious emotions of the older Greeks, while 
expressions of Tertullian and Augustine reach our heart. 


figures, frigid sentences, and wild exaggerations, we do not fail 
to find the clear and pertinent application of evangelical sayings^ 
astonishing only by its simplicity, and reminding us, where the 
thought takes a higher flight, not infrequently of Augustine.^ 

The Christianity and theology of Tertullian, whose elements 
we have here endeavoured to characterise, were above all 
headed by the primitive Christian hope and morality. In these 
was comprehended what he felt to be his inmost thought. Both 
phases recur in a large section of Latin literature of the third 

1 Not only is the distinction between "natura" and "gratia" (e,g,^ De anima 21), 
or between ''gratia" and "virtus" common in Tertullian, not only has he — in his 
later writings — ^laid great stress on the continued effect of Adam's sin and the tranS' 
mission of death, but there also occur many detached thoughts and propositions which 
recall Augustine. (For the transmission of sin and death see De exhort. 2 ; Adv. 
Marc I., 22 ; De pud. 6, 9 ; De jejun. 3, 4 : " mors cum ipso genere traducto,"' 
" primordiale delictum expiare," cf. the expression " vitium originis " ; further, also, 
the writing De pascha comput. 12, 21.) — De orat. 4 : *' summa est voluntatis dei salus 
eorum, quos adoptavit." De pat. I : "Bonorum quorundam intolerabilis magnitudo 
est, ut ad capienda et praestanda ea sola gratia divinsd inspirationis operetur. Nam 
quod maxime bonum, id maxime penes deum, nee alius id, quam qui possidet, dispen- 
sat, ut cuique dignatur." De pseniL 2: "Bonorum unus est titulus salus hominis 
criminum pristinorum abolitione prsemissa." De pat. 12: "Dilectio summum fidei 
saicramentum, Christian! nominis thesaurus." De orat. 4 : In order to fulfil the will 
of God "opus est dei voluntate ... Christus erat voluntas et potestas patris." 5 : 
" quidquid nobis optamus, in ilium auguramur, et illi deputamus, quod ab illo exspec- 
tamus." 9: "Deus solus docere potuit, quomodo se vellet orarL" De ptenit. 2: 
"Quod homini proficit, deo servit." 4 : " Rape occasionem inopinatse felicitatis, ut 
ille tu, nihil quondam penes deum nisi stilla situlae et areae pulvus et vasculum figuli, 
arbor exinde fias ilia qu« penes aquas seritur, etc." 4 : *' Obsequii ratio in similitu- 
dine animorum constituta est." De orat. 7 : " debitum in scripturis delicti figura est.' 
De bapt. 5 : exempto retUu eximitur ti poena, De pud. 22 : " Quis alienam mortem 
sua solvit nisi solus dei filius." Tertullian imputed the proposition "peccando pro- 
meremur " (De pud. 10) to his ecclesiastical opponents. The religious elements in bis 
mode of thought seem to have been decided — apart from the New Testament books — 
by the reading of Seneca's writings. In these Stoic morality seems to have been 
deepened, and in part transcended, by a really religious feeling and reflection, so that 
it was possible to p^ss from them to Pauline Christianity. Seneca, however, influ- 
enced Western thinkers generally : see Minucius Felix, Novatian, and Jerome De inl. 
vir. 12. Even in Cyprian there occur traits that might be termed Augustinian: 
notice how he emphasises the immanence of Christ in believers, tf.^., Ep. 10, 3, and 
dL the remarkable statement Ep. 10, 4 : " Christus in certamine agonis nostri et coro- 
nat poriter et coronatur." Add Ep. 58, 5 : " Spiritus dei, qui cum a confitentibus 
ncm discedit neque dividitur. Ipse in nobis loquitur et coronatur." See also the 
Roman epistle £p. 8, 3, 


and of the first half of the fourth century.^ There it is hardly 
possible to find any traces of Antignostic dogmatics; on the 
contrary, Apocalyptics were developed with extreme vividness, 
and morality, often Stoic in colouring, received a stringent 
form.* The whole of the abundant literary labours and 
dogmatic efforts of Hippolytus seem to have been lost on the 
West from the first and completely. 

But Tertullian also was deprived by his Montanism of the full 
influence which he might have exerted on the Church.* The 
results of his work passed to Cyprian, and, though much 
abbreviated and modified, were circulated by him. For the 
period from A.D. 260 down to Ambrose — indeed^ properly speakingy 
to Augustine and Jerome — Cyprian became the Latin Church 
author par excellence All known and unknown Latin writers 
of his time, and after him, had but a limited influence : he, as an 
edifying and standard author, dictated like a sovereign to the 
Western Church for the next 120 years. His authority ranked 
close after that of the Holy Scriptures, and it lasted up to the 
time of Augustine.* 

^ Compare especially also the writings which are falsely headed with the name of 
Cyprian, and have begun to be examined in very recent years. 

s Compare the characteristics of the Christianity taught by Commodian, Amobius, 
and Lactantius, vol. III. p. 77 ff. Novatian was accused of Stoicism by his 
opponents. Several of the writings headed by the name of Cyprian are very old and 
important for our knowledge of ancient Latin Christianity. I have verified that in 
the ti-actates De aleatoribus (Victor), Ad Novatianum (Sixtus), and De laude mart. 
(Novatian) (Texte und Unters, VI., i ; XIII., I and 4; see also the writings, to be 
attributed to Novatian, De spectac, and De bono pudic); but let anyone read also 
*'De duobus montibus" in order to gain an idea of the theological simplicity and 
archaic quality of these Latins. And yet the author of the above treatise succeeded 
in formulating the phrase (c. 9) : " Lex Christianorum crux est sancta Christi fiiii 
dei vivi." Most instructive are the Instructiones of Commodian. The great influence 
of Hermas' Pastor, and the interest directed accordingly to the Church, are character- 
istic of this whole literature. Even unlearned authors continued to occupy themselves 
with the Church, see the Symbol of Carthage : '* credo remissionem peccatorum per 
sanctam ecclesiam." 

* See my treatise on " Tertullian in der Litteratur der alten Kirche " in the 
Sitzungsber, d. K. Preuss. Akad. d. Wissensch, 1895, P- 545 ff- 

* See a short demonstration of this in my Texten und Unters, V i, p. 2, and 
elaborated in my Altchristl. Litt-Gesch., Part I., p. 688 ff. Pitra has furnished 
new material for the acquaintance also of the East with Cyprian in the Analecta 


Cyprian had hardly one original theological thought ; for 
even the work " De unitate ecclesiae " rests on points of view 
which are partly derived from the earlier Catholic Fathers, and 
partly borrowed from the Roman Church, to which they were 
indigenous. In the extremely authoritative work, " De opere 
et eleemosynis " the TertuUian conceptions of merit and satis- 
faction are strictly developed, and are made to serve as the 
basis of penance, almost without reference to the grace of God 
in Christ Cyprian's chief importance is perhaps due to the fact 
that, influenced by the consequences of the Decian storm he 
founded, in union with the Roman bishop Cornelius, what was 
afterwards called the sacrament of penance ; in this, indeed, he 
was the slave rather than the master of circumstances ; and in 
addition, he was yielding to Roman influences which had been 
working in this direction since Calixtus. He established the 
rule of the hierarchy in the Church in the spheres of the sacra- 
ment, sacrifice, and discipline ; he set his seal on Episcopalian- 
ism ; he planted firmly the conceptions of a legal relation 
between man and God, of works of penance as means of grace, 
and of the " satisfactory " expiations of Christ He also created 
clerical language with its solemn dignity, cold-blooded anger, 
and misuse of Biblical words to interpret and criticise contem- 
porary affairs — a metamorphosis of the TertulHan genius for 
language. Cyprian by no means inherited the interest taken 
by TertuUian in Antignostic theology. Like all great princes 
of the Church, he was a theologian only in so far as he was a 
catechist He held all the more firmly by the symbol, and 
knew how to state in few words its undoubted meaning, and to 
turn it skilfully even against allied movements like that of 

This had been learnt from Rome, where, since as early as the 
end of the second century, the " Apostles* " creed had been used 
with skill and tact against the motley opinions held about doc- 
trine by Eastern immigrants. The Roman Bishops of the 

Sacra. Cyprian's unparalleled authority in the West is attested especially by Lucifer, 
Prudentius, Optatus, Pacian, Jerome, Augustine, and Mommsen's catalogue of the 
Holy Scriptures. The see of Carthage was called in after times *' Cathedra Cypriani," 
as that of Rome ** Cathedra Petri." Optat. I., lo. 


third century did not meddle with dogmatic disputes ; the only 
two who tried it, and undoubtedly rendered great services to the 
Church, Hippolytus and Novatian, could not keep the sym- 
pathies of the clergy or the majority. In the West men did not 
live as Christians upon dogma, but they were obedient to the 
short law (lex) presented in the Symbol ; ^ they impressed the 
East by the confidence with which, when necessary, they adopted 
a position in dogmatic questions, following in the doctrine of 
the Trinity and in Christology an original scheme formed by 
Tertullian and developed by Novatian ; * while at the same time 
they worked at the consolidation of the constitution of the 
Church, the construction of a practical ecclesiastical moral 
code, as also the disciplining and training of the com- 
munity through Divine Service and the rules of penance.* 
The canons of Elvira, which, for the rest, are not lax, but are 
even distinguished by their stringency, show how strictness and 
clemency were united, Christendom being marked off from the 
world, while at the same time a life in the world was rendered 
possible, and even the grossest sins were still indulged in. The 
result was a complete ecclesiastical constitution, with an almost 
military organisation. At its head stood the Roman Bishop, 
who, in spite of the abstract equality of all Bishops, occupied a 
unique position, not only as representative, but also as actual 
defender of the unity of the Church, which, nevertheless, was 

1 The perversions adopted in order to represent the Christians as being bound to 
the "lex '* are shown, ^.^., by the argument in the, we admit, late and spurious 
writing attributed to Cyprian De XII., abusivis sseculi, chap. 12: ''Dum Christus 
finis est legis, qui sine lege sunt sine Christo sunt ; igitur populus sine lege populns 
sine Christo est." As against this, verdicts such as that cursorily given by Tertullian 
(De spect. 2), that the natural man ** deum non novit nisi naturali jure, non etiam 
familiari," remained without effect. 

' See on this Vol. II., p. 279 f. 312 f., and Vol. III. and IV. in various places ^ 
of. Reuter, Augnstin. Studien, pp. 153-230. Since the West never perceived clearly 
the close connection between the result of salvation (d^apffia) and the Incarnation, 
there always existed there a rationalistic element as regards the person of Christ, 
which afterwards disclosed itself completely in Pelagianism. The West only com- 
pleted its own theory as to Christ after it had transferred to His work conceptions 
obtained in the discipline of penance. But that took place very gradually. 

' Here again the Instructiones of Commodian are very instructive. 


severely shaken, first by Novatianism, and afterwards by 

When Constantine granted toleration and privileges to the 
Church, and enabled the provincial Churches to communicate 
with all freedom, Rome had already become a Latin city, and 
the Roman community was thoroughly Latinised ; elsewhere 
also in the West the Greek element, once so powerful, had 
receded. Undoubtedly, Western Christians had no other idea 
than that they formed a single Church with the E^st ; they were 
actually at one with the Eastern tendency represented by 
Athanasius in the fundamental conceptions of the doctrines of 
God, Christ, and eternal salvation. But their interests were 
often divided, and, in fact, there was little mutual understanding, 
particularly after Cappadocian orthodoxy triumphed in the East. 
From the middle of the third century the weakening of the cen- 
tral power had once more restored their independence to all the 
provinces, and had thus set free the principle of nationality ; and 
this would have led to a complete reaction and wholesale par- 
ticularism had not some energetic rulers, the migrations of the 
tribes, and the Church set up a barrier, which, indeed, ultimately 
proved too weak in the East. 

It was the great dogmatic controversies which compelled the 
provincial Churches to look beyond their own borders. But 
the sympathy of the West for the East — there never developed 
any vital interest in the opposite direction^ — was no longer general 
or natural. It sprang, as a rule, from temporary necessities or 
ambitious purposes. Yet it became of incalculable importance 
for Western theology ; for their relations with the East, into 
which the Western Church was brought by the Arian conflict, 
led Western Christians to observe more closely two great 
phenomena of the Eastern Church, the scientjific theology {of 
Origen) and monachism. 

It may here be at once said that the contact and influence 
which thus arose did not in the end change the genius and 

^ An exception of short duration is formed by the interest taken by the Antiochenes 
in the Western scheme of Christology during the Eutychian controversy : see the 
ejMstolary collection of Theodoret and his Eranistes, as also the works of Theodore 
of Mopsuestia. 


tendency of the Western 'Church to its depths. In so far as a 
lasting change was introduced in the fifth century, it is not to be 
derived from this quarter. But for their suggestiveness, the 
capital and impulse which were received from the East cannot 
be highly enough appreciated. We need only compare the 
writings of the Latin theologians who were not influenced by 
the Greeks, ^ with Hilary, Victorinus Rhetor, Ambrose, Jerome, 
Rufinus, and the others dependent on them, in order to perceive 
the enormous difference. The exegeticcd and speculative science 
of the Greeks was imported into the West, and, besides mona- 
chism and the ideal of a virginity devoted to God, as the prac- 
tical application of that science. 

The West was not disposed to favour either of these, and 
since it is always hardest to carry through changes in the rules 
of practical life, the implanting of monachism cost embittered 
conflicts.* But the ideal of virginity, as denoting the love-bond 
with Christ, very soon established itself among the spiritual 
leaders of the West. (Even before this, Cyprian says, De hab. 
virg. 22 : and you virgins have no husband, your lord and head 
is Christ in the similitude and place of a man.)' It then won 
through Ambrose the same significance for the West as it had 
obtained through Origen's expositions of the Song of Songs 
and Methodius in the East. Nay, it was in the West that the 
ideal was first, so to speak, individualised, and that it created a 
profusion of forms in which it was allied with or excited the 
impassioned love of Christ* The theological science of the 

^ £.g. Lucifer, so far as he does not simply imitate the Greeks. See on his 
"theology" Kriiger*s Monograph, i886. 

s See Jovinian and Vigilantius, as also the conflicts of monachism in Spain and 
Gaul (cf. the works of Sulpicius Severus). 

' " Virginibus nee maritus dominus, dominus vester ac caput Chrii^tus est ad instar 
et vicem masculi." Before this he says of the Church (Cypr., de unit. 6) : ** sponra 
Chiisti, unius cubiculi sanctitatem casto pudore custodit." Afterwards this far from 
beautiful thought was transferred to the individual soul, and thus erotic spiritualism 
was produced. 

^ See details in Vol. III., p. 129 f. The conception of Methodius was quite current 
in Latin writers at the end of the fourth century, viz,y that Christ must be bom in 
every Christian, and that only so could redemption be appropriated. Thus Prudentius 
sings, " Virginitas et prompta fides Christum bibit alvo cordis et intactis condit 
paritura latebris." Ambrose, Expos, in ev. sec. Luc 1. II., c. 26: "Vides non 


Greeks could not have domesticated itself, even if the time had 
been less unfavourable ; just then its authority was tottering even 
in the East, after the Cappadocians seemed to have reconciled 
faith and knowledge for a brief period. Where one has once 
been accustomed to regard a complex of thoughts as an inviol- 
able law, a legal order, it is no longer possible to awaken for it 
for a length of time the inner sympathy which clings to spheres 
in which the spiritual life finds a home ; and if it does succeed 
in obtaining an assured position, its treatment assumes a different 
character ; there is no freedom in dealing with it. As a matter 
of fact, the West was always less free in relation to dogma 
proper than the East in the classic period of Church theology. 
In the West men reflected about, and now and again against, 
dogma ; but they really thought little in it 

But how great, nevertheless, were the stores rescued to the 
West from the East^ by Greek scholars, especially Hilary, 
Ambrose, and Jerome, at a time when the Greek sun had 
already ceased to warm the West ! In the philosophical, 
historical, and theological elements transplanted by them, we 
have also one of Augustine's roots. He learned the science of 
exegetical speculation from Ambrose, the disciple of the Cappa- 
docians, and it was only by its help that he was delivered from 
Manichaeism. He made himself familiar with Neoplatonic 
philosophy, and in this sphere he was apparently assisted by 
the works of another Greek scholar, Victorinus Rhetor. He 
acquired an astonishing amount of knowledge of the Egyptian 
monks, and the impression thus received became of decisive 
importance for him. These influences must be weighed if we 
are to understand thoroughly the conditions under which such a 

dubitasse Mariam, sed credidisse et ideo fractum fidei consecutam. . . . Sed et vos 
beati, qui audistis et credidistis ; quaecunque enim crediderit anima et concipit et 
generat dei verbum et opera ejus agnoscit. Sit in singulis Marise anima, ut magnificet 
dominum ; sit in singulis spiritus Marise, ut exultet in deo. Si secundum carnem 
una mater est Christi, secundum fidem tamen omnium fructus est Ckristus» Omnis 
enim anima accipit dei verbum, si tamen immaculata et immunis a vitiis intemerato 
castirooniam pudore custodiat." 

^ We must pass by the older importer of Greek exegesis, Victorinus of Pettau, since, 
in spite of all his dependence on Origen, the Latin spirit held the upper hand, and 
his activity seems to have been limited. 


phenomenon as that which Augustine offers us was possible^ 
But, on the other hand, Augustine continues the Western line 
represented by TertuUian, Cyprian, Ambrosiaster, Optatus, 
Pacian, Prudentius, and also by Ambrose. Extremely char- 
acteristic is his relation to the Stoic Christian popular philo- 
sophy of Western teachers. We shall see that he retained a 
remnant of it But his importance in the history of the Church, 
and of dogma, consisted essentially in the fact tfiat he gave to 
tJie Westy in place of Stoic Christian popular morality as that was 
comprised in Pelagianism^ a religions and specifically Christian 
ethic, and tliat he impressed this so strongly on the Church that its 
formulas at least maintain their supremacy up to the present day 
in the whole of Western Christendom, In getting rid, however, 
of Stoic morals, he also thrust aside its curious complement, the 
realistic eschatology in which the ancient Latin Christians bad 
given specific expression to their Christian faith. 

Ambrose was sovereign among Western Bishops, and at the 
same time the Greek trained exegete and theologian. In both 
qualities he acted on Augustine, who looked up to him as 
Luther did to Staupitz.* He comes first to be considered here 

^ We may disregard Jerome ; he had no importance for Augustine, or if he had 
any, it was only in confirming the latter in his conservative attitude. This, indeed, 
<ioes not refer to Jerome's learning, which to Augustine was always something 
uncanny and even suspicious. Jerome's erudition, acquired from the Greeks, and 
increased with some genius for learned investigations, became a great storehouse of 
the mediaeval Church ; yet Jerome did not mould the popular dogmatics of the Church, 
but confirmed them, and as a rhetorician made them eloquent, while his ascetic 
writings implanted monachism, and held out to it ideals which were in part extremely 
questionable. At the first glance it is a paradoxical fact that Jerome is rightly re> 
garded as the doctor ecclesia Ronianoi icareloxi^y, and that we can yet pass him over 
in a history of dogma. The explanation of the paradox is that after he threw off the 
influence of Origen, he was exclusively the speaker and advocate of vulgar Catholic- 
ism, and that he possessed a just instinct for the '* ecclesiastical mean " in contro. 
versies which were only to reveal their whole significance after his time (see the 
Semipelagion question and his relation to Augustinianism.) If that is a compliment 
to him, it is none to his Church. After Augustine's time influences from the East 
were very scanty ; yet we have to recall Junilius and Cassiodorus. 

3 See Augustine's testimony as to Ambrose in the Ballerinis' ed. of the hitter's works. 

, Contra Jul. I. 4, 10: '* Audi excellentem dei dispensatorem, quem veneror ut pat- 

rem ; in Christo Jesu enim per evangelium me genuit et eo Christi ministro lavacrum 

regenerationis accepi. Beatum loquor Ambrosium cujus pro Catholica fide gratiam. 


in the latter respect. His education, his Episcopal chair in 
Milan, the Arian and Apollinarian conflict into which he had to 
enter, directed him to Greek theological literature, Philo, Hip- 
polytus, Origen, and Basil were industriously read by him ; he 
made extracts from them, and edited them in Latin.^ He T^as 
united with Basil, not only by similiarity of situation, but above 
all by agreement in character and attitude. Basil was his real 
teacher in doctrine, and while the former was met with distrust 
in Alexandria and Rome, Ambrose highly honoured him, and 
fully recognised his orthodoxy. The importance of this attitude 
of the Milanese Bishop for the closing of the Arian controversy, 
and for the reconciliation of Roman and Alexandrian orthodoxy 
with that of the Cappadocians, has been described in an earlier 
volume.^ It has indeed been recently shown, beyond dispute, 
that, in spite of his dependence on the Greeks, Ambrose pre- 
served and further developed the Western system in his 
Christology.' TertulHan, Novatian— directly or indirectly — and 
Hilary influenced him. But on the other hand there is no 
mistake that he emphasised more strongly than Augustine the 
fundamental position of the Nicene decision,^ and that he was 
confirmed in his doctrine of the Two Substances by the Cappa- 
docians, who had been involuntarily led to something approach- 
ing it in their fight against Apollinaris. Further, he treats the 
Logos in Jesus Christ so much as the subject, the human 
substance so much as form and matter, that here again Greek 

constantiam, labores, pericula sive operibus sive sermonibns et ipse sum expertus et 
mecQm non dubitat orbis praedicare Romanus." Op. imperf. c Julian. I., 2 : " Quem 
vero judicem poteris Ambrosio reperire meliorem ? De quo magister tuus Pelagins 
ait, quod ejus fidem et purissimum in scripturis sensum ne inimicus quidem ausus est 
reprehendere.** Pelagius' own words in De gratia Christi et lib. arb. 43 (47) : 
'* Bcatus Ambrosius episcopns, in cujus pnecipue libris Rotiuma elucet fides, qui 
scriptorum inter Latinos flos quidam speciosus enituit, cujus (idem et purissimum in 
scripturis sensum ne inimicus quidem ausus est reprehendere " (see c Jul. I., 30). The 
fame of Ambrose is also proclaimed by Rufinus, who defends him against Jerome, 
"who, as an envious Augur, censured Ambrose's plagiarisms from the Greeks, while 
he himself was much more culpable since he always posed as original." 

1 See detailed references in FSrster, Ambrosius, p. 99 ff. 

«SecVol. IV., p. 93. 

' See Renter, August. Studien, pp. 207-227. 

^ See Ambrose de fid. I. prol et al. loc. in Renter, I.e. p. 185; on Augustine's 
neutral position, id. p. 185 f. 


influence — as in Hilary, who was similarly dependent on the 
Greeks — cannot be overlooked ; for his own conception of the 
work of Christ conflicts with this stunted view of his human 
nature. But the most important influence of the East upon 
Ambrose does not lie in the special domain of dogmatics. It 
consists in the reception of the allegorical method of exegesis, 
and of many separate schemes and doctrines. It is true 
Ambrose had his own reservations in dealing with Plato and 
Origen ; he did not adopt the consequences of Origen's 
theology ; ^ he was much too hasty and superflcial in the sphere 
of speculative reflection to appropriate from the Greeks more than 
fragments. But he, as well as the heavier but more thorough 
Hilary, raised the West above the " meagreness '* of a pedanti- 
cally literal, and, in its practical application, wholly planless 
exegesis ; and they transmitted to their countrymen a profusion 
of ideas attached to the text of Holy Scripture. Rufinus and, 
in his first period, Jerome also completed the work. Manichae- 
ism would hardly have been overcome in the West unless it had 
been confronted by the theosophic exegesis, the "Biblical 
alchemy " of the Greeks, and the great theme of virginity was 
praised with new tongues after Western Christians heard of the 
union of the soul with its bridegroom, Christ, as taught by Origen 
in his commentary on the Song of Songs.* The unity, so far as 
at all attainable, of ecclesiastical feeling in East and West, was 
restored in the loftiest regions of theology about A.D. 390. But 
the fight against Origen, which soon broke out with embittered 
hatred, had, among other sad consequences, the immediate 
result that the West refused to learn anything further from the 

1 Not a few passages might here be quoted from Ambrose's works. He rejects 
questionable principles held by Origen with tact and vrithout judging him a heretic, 
always himself holding to the common Christian element. In a few important 
questions, the influence of Origen — Plato — is unmistakable ; as in the doctrine of 
souls and the conception of hell. Greek influence appears to me to be strongest in 
the doctrine of the relative necessity and expediency of evil ("amplius nobis profuit 
culpa quam nocuit "). Therefore, I cannot see in this doctrine a bold theory of evil 
peculiar to Ambrose, like Deutsch (Des Ambrosius Lehre von der Stinde, etc, 1867, 
p. 8) and Forster (I.e. pp. 136, 142, 300). The teleological view from the standpoint 
of the fuller restoration is alone new perhaps. 

3 Ambrose, De Isaac et anima. 


great theologian. The West never attained a strict system in 
the science of allegorical exegesis. 

The sacred histories of the Old Testament were also trans- 
formed into spiritual narratives for the West by Hilary,^ Am- 
brose, Jerome, and Rufinus.* In this transformation Western 
Christians obtained a multitude of separate mystical Neoplatonic 
conceptions, though they failed to obtain any insight into the 
system as a whole. Another Western, the rhetorician Victori- 
nus, that " aged man, most learned and skilled in the liberal 
sciences, who had read and weighed so many works of the philo- 
sophers ; the instructor of so many noble Senators, who also, as a 
monument of his excellent dischargeof his ofIice,had deserved and 
obtained a statue in the Roman Forum," had initiated his fel- 
low-countrymen into Neoplatonism by translations and original 
works.* That happened before he became a Christian. Having 
gone over to Christianity at an advanced age, and become a pro- 
lific ecclesiastical writer, he by no means abandoned Neopla- 
tonism. If I am not mistaken, Augustine made him his model 
in the crucial period of his life, and although he understood 
enough Greek to read Neoplatonic writings, yet it was substan- 
tially by Victorinus that he was initiated into them. Above all, 
he here learned how to unite Neoplatonic speculation with the 
Christianity of the Church, and to oppose Manichaeism from 
this as his starting-point We do not require to describe in 
detail what the above combination and polemic meant to him. 
When Neoplatonism became a decisive element in Augustine's 
religious and philosophical mode of thought, it did so also for 
the whole of the West. The religious philosophy of the Greeks 
was incorporated in the spiritual assets of the West, along with 

^ On Hilary's exile in the East, epoch-making as it was for the history of theology,, 
and his relation to Origen, see Reinken's Hilarius, p. 128, 270, 281 fT. Augustine 
held him in high honour. 

3 In the interpretation of the New Testament, Ambrose kept more faithfully to the 
letter, following the Western tradition, and declining the gifts of the Greeks. He 
describes Origen (£p. 75) as " Longe minor in novo quam in veteri testamento.'^ 
But Western Christians were first made familiar with the Old Testament by the 

* Aug. Confess. VIII., 2. See there also the story of his conversion. 




its ascetic and monachist impulses.^ But, unless all signs 
deceive, Augustine received from Victorinus the impulse which 
led him to assimilate Paul's type of religious thought ; for it 
appears from the works of the aged rhetorician that he had 
appropriated Paul's characteristic ideas, and Augustine demon- 
strably devoted a patient study to the Pauline epistles from the 
moment when he became more thoroughly acquainted with 
Neoplatonism. Victorinus wrote very obscurely, and his works 
found but a slender circulation. But this is not the only case in 
history where the whole importance of an able writer was merged 
in the service he rendered to a greater successor. A great, 
epoch-making man is like a stream : the smaller bfooks, which 
have had their origin perhaps further off in the country, lose 
themselves in it, having fed it, but without changing the course 

1 If we disregard the fragments which reached the West through translations of 
Origen's works, and plagiarisms from the Cappadoctans, Neoplatonism, and with it 
Greek speculation in general, were imparted to it in three successive forms : — (i) By 
Victorinus and Augustine, and by Marius Mercator in the fourth and fifth centuries ; 
<2) by Boethius in the sixth ; (3) by the importation of the works of the Pseudo- 
Areopagite in the ninth century. Cassiodorus praises Boethius (Var. epp. i, 45) for 
having given the Latins by translations the works of Pythagoras, Ptolemy, Nice- 
machus, Euclid, Plato the theologian, Aristotle the logician, Archimedes, and other 
Greeks. It seems now to me proven (Usener, Anecdoton Holderi, 1877) that 
Boethius was a Christian, and that he also wrote the frequently-suspected writings De 
sancta trimitate, Utrum pater et filius et spiritus s. de divinitate substantialiter prae- 
diceiitur, Quomodo substantise in eo quod sint bonae sint, cum non sint substantialia 
bona, De fide Catholica and Contra Eutychcn et Nestorium. But he has influenced 
posterity, not by his Christian writings, but by his treatise, wholly dependent on 
Aristotle, " De consolatione philosophix," which for that very reason could have been 
written by a heathen, and by his commentaries on Aristotle. He was really, along 
with Aristotle, the knowledge of whom was imperfect enough, the philosopher of the 
early Middle Ages. On the system of Boethius, see Nitzsch's monograph, z86o. 
Many of his ideas recall Seneca and Proclus ; an examination of his relation to Vic- 
torinus would be desirable. '* In his system the foundation is formed by Platonism, 
modified by certain Aristotelian thoughts ; besides this we have unmistakably a Stoic 
trait, due to the Roman and personal character of the philosopher and the reading of 
Roman thinkers. In this eclecticism Christianity occupies as goo<l as no position. 
For that reason we must renounce the attempt to give a place to the system of 
Boethius among those which represent or aim at a harmonising or fusion of Chris- 
tianity with Platonism (^.^., Synesius, Pseudo-Dionysius) " ; compare Nitzsch, Lcp. 
S4 f. The fact that this man, who, in view of death, consoled himself with the ideas 
of heathen philosophers, wrote treatises on the central dogma of the Church, affords 
us the best means of observing that the dogma of Christ presented a side on which it 
led to the forgetting of Christ himself. 


of its current Not only Victorinus,^ but ultimately also Am- 
brose himself, Optatus, Cyprian, and TertuUian were lost to 
view in Augustine ; but they made him the proud stream in 

1 It is to the credit of Ch. Gore that he has described, in his article *• Victorinus *' 
(Diet, of Christ. Biog. IV., pp. zi 29-1 138), the distinctive character of the theology 
of Victorinus and its importance for Augustine. He says rightly : " His theology is 
Neoplatonist in tone ... he applied many principles of the Plotinian philosophy to 
the elucidation of the Christian mysteries. His importance in this respect has been 
entirely overlooked in the history of theolc^. He preceded the Pseudo-Dionysius. 
He anticipated a great deal that appears in Scotus Erigena." In fact, when we 
stady the works of Victorinus (Migne T. VIII., pp. 999-1310), we are astonished to 
find in him a perfect Christian Neoplatonist, and an Augustine before Augustine. The 
Mrritings " Ad Justinum Manichaeum," and ** De generatione verbi divini, and the great 
work against the Arians, read like compositions by Augustine, only the Neoplatonic 
element makes a much more natural appearance in him than in Augustine, who had 
to make an effort to grasp it. If we substitute the word "natura" for "deus" in 
the speculation of Victorinus, we have the complete system of Scotus Erigena. But 
even this exchange is unnecessary ; for in Victorinus the terminology of the Church 
only rests like a thin covering on the Neoplatonic doctrine of identity. God in 
himself is **motus" — ^not mutatio : "moveriipsum quo est esse"; but without the 
Son he is conceived tis 6 /xii &p (speculation on the four-fold sense of the fi^ cTpcu as 
in the later mystics). The Son is 6 &p. It appears clearly in the speculation on the 
relation of Father and Son, that consequent — pantheistic — Neoplatonism is favourable 
to the doctrine of the Homoousia. Because the Deity is movere, the Father finds 
himself in a " semper generans generatio." So the Son proceeds from him, '* re non 
tempore posterior." The Son is the '*potentia actuosa" ; while the Father begets 
him, "ipse se ipsum conterminavit." The Son is accordingly the eternal object of 
the divine will and the divine self-knowledge ; he is the form and limitation of God, 
very essence of the Father; the Father in perceiving the Son perceives himself 
("alteritas nata"). "In isto sine intellectu temporis, tempore ... est alteritas 
nata, cito in identitatem revenit;" therefore the most perfect unity and absolute 
consubstantiality, although the Son is subordinate. Victorinus first designated the 
Spirit as the copula of the Deity (see Augustine) ; it is he who completes the perfect 
circle of the Deity ; '*omnes in alternis exsistentes et semper simul d/ioodo'toc divina 
affectione, secundum actionem (tantummodo) subsistentiam propriam habentes." 
This is elaborated in speculations which form the themes of Augustine's great work 
" De trinitate." The number three is in the end only apparent ; " ante unum quod 
est in numero, plane simplex." *' Ipse quod est esse, subsistit tripliciter." While 
anyone who is at all sharp-sighted sees clearly from this that the "Son" as 
" potentia actuosa " is the world-idea, that is perfectly evident in what follows. All 
things are potentially in God, actually in the Son ; for " filius festinat in actionem." 
The world is distinguished from God, as the many from the one, f.^., the world is 
God unfolding himself and returning to unity sub specie atemUatis. That which is 
alien and God-resisting in the world is simply not-being, matter. This is all as 
given by Proclus, and therefore, while the word "creare" is indeed retained, is 
transformed, in fact, into an emanation. The distinction between deus ipse and put 


whose waters the banks are mirrored, on whose bosom the ships 
sail, and which fertilises and passes through a whole region of 
tl\e world. 

a dea is preserved ; but, in reality, the world is looked at under the point of view of 
the Deity developing himself. Ad Justinam 4 : " Aliter quidem quod ipse est, aliter 
quae ab ipso. Quod ipse est unum est totumque est quidquid ipse est ; quod vero ab 
ipso est, innumerum est. Et haec sunt quibus refletur omne quod uno toto clauditur 
et ambitur. Verum quod varia sunt quae ab ipso sunt, qui a se est et unum est, variis 
cum convenit dominare. £t ut omnipotens apparet, contrariorum etiam origo ipse 
debuit inveniri.*' But it is said of these "varia," that *' insubstantiata sunt omnia 
4rra in Jesu, hoc est, ^ rtp Xiytfi. He is the unity of nature, accordingly elementum, 
receptaculum, habitaculum, habitator, locus naturae. He is the "unum totnm" in 
which the universum presents itself as a unity. And now follows the process of 
emanation designated as "creation," in whose description are employed the Christian 
and Neoplatonic stages : deus, Jesus, spiritus, poDf, anima (as world-soul) angeli et 
deinde corporalia omnia subministrata." Redemption through Christ, and the return 
ad deum of all essences, in so far as they are a cUoj is Neoplatonically conceived, as 
also we have then the doctrine of the pre-existence of souls and their pre-temporal 
fall. The Incarnation is admitted, but spiritualised, inasmuch as side by side with 
the conception of the assumption of a human form, which occurs once, the other 
prevails that Christ appears as burdened with humanity in its totality ; " universalis 
caro, universalis anima; in isto omnia universalia erant" (Adv. Arian. HI., 3). 
" Quia corpus ille catholicum ad omnem hominem habuit, omne quod passus est 
catholicum fecit; id est ut omnis caro in ipso crucifixa sit" (Ad Philipp, pp. 1196- 
1221 ; Adv. Arian. III., 3). But the most interesting features, because the most 
important for Augustine are (i), that Victorinus gives strong expression to the 
doctrine of Predestination— only he feels compelled in opposition to Manichaeism to 
maintain the freedom of the will ; and (2), that, especially in his commentaries, he 
places the highest value oxi Justification by faith alone in opposition to all moralism. 
Neoplatonism had won his asseut, or had prepared him in some measure to assent, to 
both these doctrines; we know, indeed, from other sources, that heathen Neo- 
platonists felt attracted to John and Paul, but not to the Synoptics or James. Thus 
Victorinus writes : " non omnia restaurantur sed quae in Christo sunt" (p. 1245), 
"quaesalvari possent" (p. 1274), "universos sed qui sequerentur" (p. 1221). In a 
mystical way Chri:it is lylieving humanity (the Church), and believing humanity is 
humanity in general. Everything undergoes a strictly necessary development ; there- 
fore Victorinus was a predestinationist The passages in which Victorinus expresses 
himself in a strictly Pauline, and, so to speak, Antipelagian sense, are collected by 
Gore, p. 1137; see Ad Gal. 3, 22; Ad Philipp, 3, 9; *' * non meam justitiam' 
tunc enim mea est vel nostra, cum moribus nostris justitiam dei mereri nos putamus 
perfectam per mores. At non, inquit, hanc habens justitiam, sed quam? Illam ex 
fide. Non illam quae ex lege ; vae in operibus est et carnali disciplina, sed hanc quae 
ex deo procedit * justitia ex fide ; * " Ad Phil. 4, 9 ; Ad Ephes. 2, 5 : " non nostri 
laboris est, quod saepe moneo, ut nos salvemus ; sed sola fides in Christum nobis 
salus est . . . nostrum pene jam nihil est nisi solum credere qui superavit omnia. 
Hoc est enim plena salvatio, Christum haec vicisse. Ftdem in Christo habere. 


For not only the work of those Greek Latins, but also the 
line of representatives of genuine Western theology and ecclesi- 
asticism ended in Augustine.^ 

plenain iidem, duIIus labor est, nulla difEcultas, aniiui tantum volantas est . . . 
jastida non tantum valet quantum fides" ; Ad Ephes. i» 14 ; 3t 7 ; Ad Phil. 2, 13 : 
" quia ipsnm velle a deo nobis operatur, fit ut ex deo et operationem et voluntatem 
habeamus." Victorinus has been discussed most recently by Geiger (Programme von 
Metten, 1888, 1889), and Reinhold Schmid (Marius Victorinus Rhetor u. s. Bex. z. 
Augustin. Kiel, 1895) — compare also the dissertation by KofTmane, De Mario Victor- 
ino, philosopho Christiano, Breslau, 1880. Geiger has thoroughly expounded 
the complete Neoplatonic system of Victorinus ; Schmid seeks, after an excellent 
statement of his theological views, to show (p. 68 ff.), that he exerted no, or, at least, 
no decisive influence on Augustine. I cannot see that this proof has really been 
successful ; yet I admit that Schmid has brought forward weighty arguments in 
support of his proposition. The name of Victorinus is not the important point for the 
history of dogma, but the indisputable fact that the combination of Neoplatonism 
and highly orthodox Christianity existed in the West, in Rome, before Augustine, 
under the badge of Pauiinism. Since this combination was hardly of frequent 
occurrence in the fourth century, and since Augustine gives a prominent place to 
Victorinus in his Confessions, it will remain probable that he was influenced by him. 
The facts that he was less Neoplatonic than Victorine, and afterwards even opposed 
him, do not weigh against the above contention. But it is positively misleading to 
argue like Schmid (p. 68) against Augustine's Neoplatonism by appealing to the fact 
that from the moment of his rejection of Manichseism and semi-scepticism, he was a 
«* decided Christian." 

1 Little is yet known regarding the history of ecclesiastical penance in the East ; 
but I believe I can maintain that in the West the shock was less violent in its effect, 
which all official Church discipline received through the rapid extension of Christianity 
after Constantine. Here confidence in the Church was greater, the union of *'sancta 
ecclesia" and "remissio peccatorum" closer (" credo remissionem peccatonim per 
sanctam ecclesiam " : Symbol. Carthag. ), and the sense of sin as guilt, which was to 
be atoned for by public confession and satisfactio, more acute. Whence this came, 
ic is hard to say. In the East it would appear that greater stress was laid on the 
operations of the cultus as a collective institution, and on the other band on private 
self-education through prayer and asceticism ; while in the West the feeling was 
stronger that men occupied religious legal relationships, in which they were responsible 
to the Church, being able, however, to expect from the Church sacramental and inter- 
cessory aid in each individual case. The individual and the Church thus stood nearer 
each other in the West than in the East. Therefore, ecclesiastical penance asserted 
a much greater importance in the former than in the latter. We can study this 
significance in the works of the Africans on the one hand, and of Ambrose on the 
other. They have little else in common, but they agree in their view of penance 
(Ambrose, De psenitentia). The practice of penance now acquired an increasing 
influence in tlie West on all conditions of the ecclesiastical constitution and of 
theology, so that we can ultimately construct from this starting-point the whole of 
Western Catholicism in the Middle Ages and modern times, and can trace the subUe 


Augustine studied, above all, very thoroughly, and made him- 
self familiar with Cyprian's work. Cyprian was to him the 
"saintly," the Church Father, Kar^ c^oxw and his view of 
heresy and the unity of the Church was dependent on Cyprian. 
But standing as a Bishop, unassailed, on the foundation which 
Cyprian had created, Augustine did not find it necessary to 
state Episcopalianism so uncompromisingly as the former, 
and being occupied with putting an end to a schism which was 
different from the Novatian, he learned to take a different view 
of the nature of schisms from the Bishop whom he venerated as 
a hero.^ Cursory remarks show, besides, that Augustine had 
made himself familiar with the literature of the Novatian con- 
troversy, and had learned from it for his notion of the Church. 
Some works quoted by him we no longer possess — ^.^., that of 
Reticius against the Novatians.^ What has been preserved to 
us of this literature,* proves that the Western Church was con- 
tinually impelled, by its opposition to the Novatians in the 
course of the fourth century, to reflect on the nature of the 

But even when he entered into the Donatist controversy, 
Augustine did so as a man of the second or indeed of the third 
generation, and he therefore enjoyed the great advantage of 

workings of the theory of penance to the most remote dog;mas. But Augustine once 
more marks the decisive impetus in this development. With him began the process 
by which what had long existed in the Church was elevated into theory. He indeed 
created few formulas, and has not even OQce spoken of a sacrament of penance ; but, 
on the one hand, he has clearly enough expressed the thing itself, and, on the other, 
where he has not yet drawn the theoretical consequences of the practice of penance, 
he has left such striking gaps (see his Christology) that they were filled up by unosten- 
tatious efforts, as if inevitably, in after times. 

iSee Reuter, August. Studien, pp. 232 ff., 355. 

•Lib I. c. Julian. 3 Op. imperf. c. Jul I., 55 ; Jerome de vir. inl., 82. 

s Pseudo>Cyprian = Sixtus II. ad Novatianum, Ambrosiaster in the Quaest. ex Vet. 
et Novo Testam. [the inserted tractate against Novatian] Pacianus c. Novat. 

^From Pacian's £p. I. ad Sempron. comes the famous sentence: "Christianas 
mihi nomen est, catholicus cognomen." In the tractate of Ambrosiaster against 
Novatian, the objectivity of the Divine Word and of baptism, and their independence 
in theur operation of the moral character of the priest, are consistently argued. In 
some of the sentences we imagine that we are listening to Augustine. On the whole, 
there is not a little in Ambrosiaster's commentary and questions which must be 
described as leading up to Augustine, and is therewith genuinely Western. 


having at his disposal a fund of conception^ and ideas already 
collected. In this sphere Optatus had especially wrought 
before him.^ 

This is not the place to describe the rise of Donatism ; for 
the dispute did not originate in a dogmatic controversy.* It 
arose in the first place out of Caecilian's action against the ex- 
aggerated veneration of martyrs, which disturbed the order and 
endangered the existence of the Church. Some of the clergy 
who did not desire a strong episcopal power seem to have made 
common cause with the discontented and refractory enthusiasts, 
to whom Cxcilian had been obnoxious even when Deacon. In 
any case, a point of principle did not immediately emerge in 
the controversy. But it was soon introduced, and indeed there 
is no doubt that Cyprian was played off against himself.^ The 
Donatist party, which was at the same time, it appears, the 
African national party, found support both in Cyprian's con- 
ception that the Bishop was only a Bishop if he possessed a 
certain Christian and moral quality, and in his defence of 
heretical baptism. The opposition, also carrying out ideas 
taught by Cyprian, gave such prominence to the official char- 
acter of the episcopate, and the objective efficacy of the sacra- 
ment, that the personal quality of the official or dispenser 
became indifferent* It may be that those martyrs and relic- 

^ Aug adv. Parmen. I, 3 : '* Venerabilis memoriie Milevitanus episcopus catholicae 
communioais Optatus." Fulgentius ranks Optatus along with Ambrose and 

* See Deutsch, Drei Actenstiicke z. Gesch. des Donatismus, 1875, p. 40 f. Volter, 
Der Ursprung des Donatismus, 1882 ; Harnack, Theol. Lit-Zeit., 1884, No. 4 ; on 
the other side, Reuter I.c. 234 flf. whose contradiction, however, partly rests on a 
mistmderstanding of my view. Seeck. Zitschr. fur K.-Gescb. X. 4. Duschesne gives 
the best account, Le doissier du Donatisme, 1890. 

'See Vol. II., p. 114 ff. 

<Here these Africans abandoned the position, in the question of heretical baptisms, 
taken up by Cyprian; see the 8th Canon of Aries (a.d. 316) : '*De Afris quod 
propria lege sua utuntur, ut rebaptizent, placuit, ut si ad ecclesiam aliquis de hseresi 
venerit, interrogent eum symbolum ; et si perviderint eum in patre et Hlio et spiritu 
sancto esse baptizatum, manus ei tantum imponatur ut accipiat spiritum sanctum. 
Quod si interrogatus non responderit hanc trinitatem, baptizetur." Can. 13 : " De 
his, qui scripturas s. tradidisse dicuntur vel vasa dominica vel nomina patrum suorum, 
placuit nobis, ut qnicumque eorum ex actis publicis fuerit detectus, non verbis nudis, 
abordine cleri araoveatur. Nam si iidem aliquos ordinasse fuerint deprehensi et 


worshipping enthusiasts in Carthage were inclined from the first 
to the conception once held by Cyprian against Calixtus and 
his successors, and that they thus required a standard of active, 
personal holiness for bishops, which could no longer be sus- 
tained in the great Church and during the devastating storms 
of the last persecution. But this cannot be proved. On the 
other hand, it is indisputable that, after the Synod of Aries, 
the controversy had reached a point where it must be regarded 
as the last link in the chain of the great phenomena (Encratites 
Montanists, adherents of Hippolytus and Novatians) in which 
Christendom strove against the secularisation that was imposed 
upon it by the removal of the attribute of holiness, and with it 
of the truth of the Church, from persons to institutions — the 
office and mysteries ; ^ this change being due to the fact that 

hi quos ordinaverunt rationales (able ? capable ?) subsistunt, non tilts obsit ordinatio *' 
(that is the decisive principle ; even ordination by a traditor was to be valid). 

' Crises, similar to that of the Donatists, al*o arose elsewhere — as in Rome and 
Alexandria — at the beginning of the fourth century ; but our information regarding 
them is wholly unsatisfactory ; see Lipsius, Chronologic der r<5mischen Bischofe, p. 
250 if., where the epitaphs by Damasus on Marcellus and Eusebius are copied, and 
rightly compared with the passage in the Liber praedest., c. 16 on Heracleon (who is 
really Heraclius). Ileraclius appears already ( a. D. '307-309) to have exaggerated 
the view of the *' objectivity'* and power of the sacraments to such an extent as o 
declare all sins by baptised persons to be *' venial," and to hold a severe public pen- 
ance to be unnecessary. Therefore it was said of him, " Christus in pace negavit " 
and '* vetuit lapsos peccata dolcre" ; more precisely in Lib. pnedest. : " Baptizatum 
hominem sive justum sive peccatorem loco sancti computan docebat nihilque obcsse 
baptizatis peccata memorabat, dicens, sicut non in se recipit natura ignis gelu iia 
baptizatus non in se recipit peccatum. Sicut enim ignis resolvit aspectu suo nives 
quantaecunque juxta sint, sic semel baptizatus non rec\ip>\i peccatorum realum, etiam 
quantavis fuerint operihus ejus peccata permixta." In this we can truly study the 
continuity of Western Christianity ! How often this thought has cropped up on into 
the nineteenth century, and that precisely among evangelicals ! It marks positively 
the ** concealed poison," which it is hard to distinguish from the wholesome medicine 
of evangelic comfort. But it is very noteworthy that this phase in the conception of 
the favoured position of the baptised can be first proved as existing in Rome. De- 
velopments always went furthest there, as the measures taken by Calixtus also show. 
Yet this one was rejected, after a schism had broken out in the community, and that 
is perfectly intelligible ; for apart from the ruinous frivolity which had come in with 
the above view, what importance could the priestly class retain if every baptised 
person might, without further ceremony, and if he only willed it, feel and assert him- 
self to be a member of the congregation even after the gravest sin ? It is not very 
probable that Heraclius developed his ecclesiastical attitude on the basis of the 


Otherwise men would have had to despair of the Christian 
character of the Church as Catholic. The Donatists denied the 
validity of any ordination conferred by a traditor, and therefore 
also of sacraments administered by a bishop who had been 
consecrated by a traditor. As a last remnant of a much more 
earnest conception^ a minimum of personal worthiness was required 
of the clergy alone^ and received into the notion of the Church 
itself: it was no longer Christian if this minimum was wanting, 
if the clergy — nothing being now said of the laity — were not 
free from every idolatrous stain. Compared with the measure 
of agreement which prevailed between Catholics and Donatists, 
the separate thesis of the latter looks like a caprice, and certainly 
much obstinacy, personal discontent, and insubordination lurked 
behind it But we may not overlook the question of principle 
any more here than in the case of Novatianism. The legend of 
the Sybilline Books is constantly repeating itself in the history 
of spiritual conflicts. The remnant saved from the flames 
stands at as high a price as the whole collection. And what a 
price the Church has paid in order to escape the exhortations of 
separatists ! The Novatian crisis — after the Decian persecution 
— drew from it the sacrament of penance, and thereby gave the 
impulse in general to substitute a system of sacraments for the 
sacrament that blotted out sin. (The formal establishment of 
the new sacrament had, indeed, still to be waited for for a long 
time.) The Donatist crisis — after the Diocletian persecution — 
taught the Church to value ordination as imparting an inalien- 
able title (character indelebilis) and to form a stringent view of 
the " objectivity " of the sacraments ; or, to use a plainer ex- 
pression, to regard the Church primarily as an institution whose 

Pauline theory of baptism and of the faith that lays hold of Christ If we were to 
understand the matter so, he would have been a Luther before Luther. We have 
probably to suppose that he saw in baptism the magical bestowal of a stamp, as in 
the conception taken of certain heathen mysteries. In the Meletian schism in Egypt, 
the difference in principles as to the renewed reception of the lapsed, co-operated 
with opposition to the monarchial position of the Alexandrian Bishop. The dispute, 
which thus recalls the Donatist controversy, soon became one of Church politics, 
and personal. (Compare Meletius and the iater Donatists ; the limitation of the 
whole question to the Bishops is, however, peculiar to the Donatists.) See Walch, 
Ketzerhistorie, Vol IV., and Moller in Herzog*s R.-E. IX., p. 534 if. 


holiness and truth were inalienable, however melancholy the 
state of its members. 

In this thought Catholicism was first complete. By it is ex- 
plained its later history down to the present day, in so far as it 
is not a history of piety, but of the Church, the Hierarchy, 
sacramental magic, and implicit faith ((ides implicita). But 
only in the West did the thought come to be deliberately and 
definitely expressed. It also made its way in the East, be- 
cause it was inevitable ; but it did so, as it were, unconsciously. 
This was no advantage ; for the very fact that this conception 
of the Church was definitely tlfought out in the West, led over 
and over again to the quest for safeguards, or a form which 
could be reconciled with living faith, and the requirements of a 
holy life. Even Augustine, who stated it definitely and fully, 
aimed at reconciling the Christian conscience with it. But he 
was not the first to declare it ; he rather received it from 
tradition. The first representative of the new conception known 
to us, and Augustine also knew him, was Optatus. 

The work of Optatus, " De schismate Donatistarum," was 
written in the interests of peace, and therefore in as friendly and 
conciliatory a tone as possible. This did not, indeed, prevent 
violent attacks in detail, and especially extremely insulting 
allegorical interpretations of texts from Scripture. But the 
author every now and then recalls the fact that his opponents 
are after all Christian brethren (IV., i., 2), who have disdainfully 
seceded from the Church, and only decline to recognise what is 
gladly offered them. Church fellowship. At the very beginning 
of his book, which, for the rest, is badly arranged, because it is 
a reply point by point to a writing by the Donatist, Parmenian, 
Optatus (I., 10 sq.) — differing from Cyprian — indicates the 
distinction in principle between heretics and schismatics, and he 
adheres firmly to the distinction — already drawn by Irenaeus — 
to the end of his statement^ Heretics are " deserters from or 
falsifiers of the Symbol " (I., 10, 12 ; II., 8), and accordingly are 
not Christians ; the Donatists are seditious Christians. Since 
the definition holds (I., 11) that ** a simple and true understand- 

1 Parmenian denied this distinction. 


ing in the law {sciL the two testaments), the unique and most 
true sacrament, and unity of minds constitute the Catholic 
{scil. Church)," ^ the Donatists only want the last point to be 
genuinely Catholic Christians. The heretics have " various and 
false baptisms,** no legitimate office of the keys, no true divine 
service ; " but these things cannot be denied to you schismatics,* 
although you be not in the Catholic Church, because you have 
received along with us true and common sacraments" (I., 12). 
He says afterwards (III., 9): "You and we have a common 
ground in the Church (ecclesiastica una conversatio), and if the 
minds of men contend, the sacraments do not" Finally, we 
also can say : " We equally believe, and have been stamped 
with one seal, nor did we receive a different baptism from you ; 
nor a different ordination. . We read equally the Divine Testa- 
ment ; we pray to one God. Among you and us the prayer of 
our Lord is the same, but a rent having been made, with the 
parts hanging on this side and on that, it was necessary that it 
should be joined." And (III., 10) he remarks very spiritually, 
founding on a passage in Ezechiel : "You build not a protect- 
ing house, like the Catholic Church, but only a wall ; the 
partition supports no corner-stone ; it has. a needless door, nor 
does it guard what is enclosed ; it is swept by the rain, de- 
stroyed by tempests, and is unable to keep out the robber. It 
is a house wall, but not a home. And your part is a quasi 
ecclesia, but not Catholic" V., I : " That is for both which is 
common to you and us : therefore it belongs also to you^ because 
you proceed from us ; " that is the famous principle which is still 
valid in the present day in the Catholic Church. " Finally, both 
you and we have one ecclesiastical language, common lessons, 
the same faith, the very sacraments of the faith, the same 

^ " Catholicam (scil. ecclesiam) facit simplex et veras intellectus in lege (scil. duobus 
testamends) singulare acverissimum sacramentum et unitas animorum." 

s Cyprian would never have admitted that, lie accused the Novatians (Ep4 68) of 
infringing the Symbol like other heretics, by depriving the " remissio peccatorum " of 
its full authority ; and he commanded all who had not been baptised in the Catholic 
Church to be re-baptised. Cyprian had on his side the logical consequence of the 
Catholic dogma of the Church ; but since this consequence was hurtful to the expan- 
sion of the Church, and the development of its power, it was rejected with a correct 
instinct in Rome (see Ambrosiaster), and afterwards in Africa. 


mysteries." Undoubtedly Optatus also held ultimately that 
those things possessed by the schismatics were in the end fruit- 
less, because their offence was especially aggravated. They 
merely constituted a "quasi ecclesia." For the first mark of 
the one, true, and holy Church was not the holiness of the 
persons composing it; but exclusively the possession of the 
sacraments, II., i : " It is the one Church whose sanctity is de- 
rived from the sacraments^ and not estimated front the pride of 
persons. This cannot apply to all heretics and schismatics ; it 
remains that it is (found) in one place." The second mark con- 
sists in territorial Catholicity according to the promise : " I will 
give the heathen for an inheritance, and the ends of the world 
for a possession." II., i : "To whom, then, does the name of 
Catholic belong, since it is called Catholic because it is reason- 
able and diffused everywhere ? " ^ 

Optatus did not succeed in clearly describing the first mark in 
its negative and exclusive meaning; we could indeed easily 
charge him with contradicting himself on this point. The 
second was all the more important in his eyes,* since the Dona- 
tists had only taken hold in Africa and, by means of a few 
emigrants, in Rome. In both signs he prepared the way for 
Augustine's doctrine of the Church and the sacraments, in which 
Optatus' thought was, of course, spiritualised. Optatus has 
himself shown, in the case of Baptism (V., i-8), what he meant 
by the "sanctity of the sacraments." In Baptism there were 

^ Compare I.e. : ** Ecclesiam tu, frater Parmeniane, apud vos solos esse dixisti ; 
nisi forte quia vobis speciaUm sancHtcUem de superbia vindicare contenditis, ut, ubi 
vultis, ibi sit ecclesia, et non sit, ubi non vultis. Ergo ut in particula Afrioe, in an- 
gulo parvse regionis, apud vos esse possit, apud nos in alia parte Africae non erit ? " 

^ In connection with the territorial ccUholicity of the Church, Optatus always treats 
the assertion of its unity. Here he is dependent on Cyprian ; see besides the details 
in Book 2 those in Book 7 : *' Ex persona beatissimi Petri forma unitatis retinends 
vel factendse descripta recilatur;" ch. 3: '* Malum est contra interdictum aliquid 
facere; sed pejus est, unita'em non habere, cum possis . 4 . " "Bono unitatis 
sepelienda esse peccata hinc intellegi datur, quod b. Paulus apostolus dicat. caritatem 
posse obstruere multitudinem peccatorum '' (here, accordingly, is the identification of 
unitas and caritas). ... " Haec omnia Paulus viderat in apa<itolis ceteris, qui bono 
unitas per caritatem noluerunt a communione Petri recedere, ejus scil. qui negaverat 
Christum. Quod si major esset amor innocentiae quam utilitas pacis unitatis, 
dicerent se non debere communicare Petro, qui negaverat magistrum." That is still 
a dangerous fundamental thought of Catholicism at the present day. 


three essentials : the acting Holy Trinity ("confertur a trinitate"), 
the believer (" fides credentis "), and the administrator. These 
three were not, however, equally important ; the two first rather 
belonged alone to the dogmatic notion of Baptism (** for I see 
that two are necessary, and one as if necessary [quasi neces- 
sariam]^"), for the baptisers are not "lords" (domini), but 
" agents or ministers of baptism " (operarii vel ministri baptismi). 
(Ambrosiaster calls them advocates who plead, but have nothing 
to say at the end when sentence is passed.) They are only 
ministering and changing organs, and therefore contribute no- 
thing to the notion and effect of Baptism ; for " it is the part of 
God to cleanse by the sacrament." But if the sacrament is in- 
dependent of him who, by chance, dispenses it, because the rite 
presupposes only the ever the same Trinity and the ever the same 
fiiith,^ then it cannot be altered in its nature by the dispenser 
(V. 4 : " the sacraments are holy in themselves, not through 
men : sacramenta per se esse sancta, non per homines"). That 
is the famous principle of the objectivity of the sacraments 
which became so fundamental for the development of the dog- 
matics of the Western Church, although it never could be 
carried out in all its purity in the Roman Church, because in 
that case it would have destroyed the prerogatives of the Clergy. 
It is to be noticed, however, that Optatus made the holiness of 
the sacraments to be effective only for the faith of the believer 
(fides credentis), and he is perfectly consistent in this respect, 
holding faith to be all important, to the complete exclusion of 
virtues. Here again he prepared the way for the future theology 
of the West by emphasising the sovereignty of faith.^ It is all 

1 Notice that there already occur in Optatus terms compounded with " quasi" which 
were so significant in the later dogmatics of Catholicism. 

2 Here stands the following sentence (V., 7) : "Ne quis putaret, in solis apostolis 
aut episcopis speni suam esse ponendam, sic Paulus ait : ' Quid est enim Paulus vel 
quid Apollo? Utique ministri ejus, in quem credidistis. E^t ergo in universis 
servientibus non dominium sed ministerium." 

* At this point there occur especially in V., 7, 8, very important expositions antici- 
pating Augustine. '* Ad gratiam dei pertinet qui credit, non ille, pro cujus voluntate, 
ut dicitis, sanctitas vestra succedit." — " Nomen trinitatis est, quod sanctificat, non 
opus (operantis)." — '* Restat jam de credentis nurito aliquid dicere, cujus est fides^ 
quam filius dei et sanctitati suae anleposuit et majestatt ; non enim potestis sanctiores 
esse, quam Christus est." Here follows the story of the Canaanitish woman, with 


the more shocking to find that even Optatus uses the whole re- 
flection to enable him to depreciate claims on the life of the 
members of the Church. We see clearly that the Catholic 
doctrine of the sacraments grew out of the desire to show that 
the Church was holy and therefore true, in spite of the irreligion 
of the Christians belonging to it But in aiming at thisy men lit^ 
curiously y upon a trace of evangelical religion. Since it was im- 
possible to point to active holiness, faith and its importance 
were called to mind. A great crisis, a perplexity ^ in which, see- 
ing the actual condition of matters, the Catholic Church found 
itself involved with its doctrine of Baptism, virtue, and salvation, 
turned its attention to the promise of God and faith. Tims the 
most beneficent and fnomentous transformation experienced by 
Western Christianity before Luther was forced upon it by circum- 
stances. But it would never have made its way if it had not 
been changed by the spiritual experiences of a Catholic Christian, 
Augustine, from an extorted theory^ into a joyful and confident 

Parmenian gave Optatus occasion to enumerate certain " en- 
dowments " (dotes) of the Church, /.^., the essential parts of its 
possession. Parmenian had numbered six, Optatus gives five : 
(i) cathedra (the [Episcopal] chair); (2) angelus; (3) spiritus; (4) 
fons ; (s) sigillum (the symbol). The enumeration is so awk- 
ward that one can only regret that it is adapted to the formula 
of an opponent But we learn, at least, in this way that 
Cyprian's ideal of the unity of the Episcopate, as represented in 
Peter's chair, had been received and fostered unsuspiciously in 
Africa. "Peter alone received the keys" (I., 10, 12). "You 
cannot deny your knowledge that on Peter, in the city of Rome, 
was first conferred the Episcopal chair, in which he sat, the 
head of all the Apostles, whence he was also called Cephas, in 
which one chair unity might be observed by all, lest the rest of 

the remarkable application : '*Etut ostenderet filias dei, se zfoccusg, JSdem tanium- 
tnodo operatam esse : vade, inquit, mulier in i^KCt^fdes tua U sahfami,^* So also faith 
is extolled as having been the sole agent in the stories of the Centurion of Capernaum 
and the Issue of Blood. ** Nee mulier petiit, nee Christus promisit, scd fides tantum 
quantum prsesumpsit, exegit.*' The same thoughts occur in Optatus' contemporary, 
^ This it was in the case of Ambrosiaster as well as in that of Optatus. 


the Apostles should severally defend one, each for himself, in 
order that he might now be a schismatic and sinner, who 
should appoint a second as against the one unique chair " (II., 2). 
The connection with Peter's chair was of decisive importance, 
not only for Optatus, but also for his opponent (I I., 4), who had 
appealed to the fact that Donatists had also possessed a Bishop 
in Rome. Optatus, besides, discusses the second point, the 
angelus, who is the legitimate Bishop of the local community, 
the chair (cathedra) guaranteeing the oecumenical unity, and he 
emphasises the connection of the African Catholic Churches 
with the Oriental, and especially the seven-fold ecclesia of Asia 
(Rev. XL, 3), almost as strongly as that with the Roman Church 
(IL, 6; VI., 3). His disquisitions on spiritus/ fons, and sigil- 
lum, are devoid of any special interest (I I., 7-9). On the other 
hand, it is important to notice that he expressly subordinates 
the consideration of the endowments (dotes) of the Church, to 
the verification of " its sacred members and internal organs *' 
(sancta membra ac viscera ecclesix), about which Parmenian 
had said nothing. These consisted in the sacraments and the 
names of the Trinity " in which meet the faith and profession of 
believers " (cui concurrit fides credentium et professio). Thus 
he returns to his natural and significant line of thought.^ 

^ The Donatist had said (II., 7) : '* Nam in ilia (catholica) ecclesia quis spiritus esse 

potest, nisi qui pariat filios gehennae ?" That is the genuine confession of separatists. 

^ We may here select a few details from the work of Optatus as characteristic of 

Western Christianity before Augustine. He regularly gives the name of ** lex" to 

both the Testaments ; he judges all dogmatic statements by the symbolum apostolicum^ 

in which he finds the doctrine of the Trinity, to him the chief confession, without 

therefore mentioning the Nicene Creed ; he confesses '* per camem Christi deo re- 

conciliatus est mundus " (I., 10) ; he declares (VI., i) : " quid est altare, nisi sedes et 

corporis et sanguinis Christi, cujus illic per certa momenta corpus et sanguis habita- 

liat ? " He speaks of the reatus peccati and meritum fidei ; he has definitely stated 

the distinction between pracepta and consilia (VI. , 4) in his explanation of the parable of 

the Good Samaritan. The innkeeper is Paul, the two pence are the two Testaments, 

the additional sum still perhaps necessary are the consilia. He describes the position 

of the soteriological dogma in his time by the following exposition (II., 20) : — ** Est 

Ohiistiani hominis, quod bonum est velle et in eo quod bene voluerit, currere ; sed 

liomini non est datum perficere, ut post spatia, quae debet homo implere, restet aliquid 

deo, ubi deficient! succurrat, quia ipse solus est perfectio et perfectus solus dei filius 

Christus, cseteri ^m»/J stmi-petfecU %\3im\3&.^^ Here we perceive the great task that 

awaited Augustine. But even as regards Church politics Optatus betrays himself as 


If Ambrosiaster and Optatus prepared the way for Augustine's 
doctrines of the sacraments, faith, and the Church,^ Ambrose did 
so for those of sin, grace, and faith. We have endeavoured 
above to estimate his importance to Augustine as a disciple of 
the Greeks ; we have now to regard him as a Western.* But 
we have first of all to consider not the theologian, but the 
Bishop. It was the royal priest who first opened Augustine's 
eyes to the authority and majesty of the Church. Only a Roman 
Bishop — even if he did not sit in the Roman chair — could teach 
him this, and perhaps the great work, De civitate Dei, would 
never have been written had it not been for the way in which 
this majesty had been impressed on Augustine by Ambrose ; 
for great historical conceptions arise either from the fascinating 
impression made by great personalities or from political energy ; 
and Augustine never possessed the latter. It was, on the con- 
trary, in Ambrose, the priestly Chancellor of the State, that the 
imperial power (imperium) of the Catholic Church dawned upon 
him,^ and his experiences of the confusion and weakness of the 
civil power at the beginning of the fifth century completed the 
impression. Along with this Ambrose's sermons fall to be con- 
sidered.* If, on one side, they were wholly dependent on Greek 
models, yet they show, on the other hand, in their practical 
tone, the spirit of the West. Augustine's demand that the 
preacher should " teach, sway, and move ' (docere, flectere, 
movere) is as if drawn from those sermons. In spite of the 
asceticism and virginity which he also mainly preached, he con- 
stantly discussed all the concrete affairs of the time and the 

an Epigone of the Constantinlan era, and as a precursor of the Augiistinian. See his 
thesis on the disloyalty of the Donatists to the State (III., 3) : "Non respublica est 
in ecclesia, sed ecclesia in republica est, id est in imperio Romano." 

1 In the West, before Augustine, the conception oi gratia exhausted itself in that of 
the remissio peccatorum. We can see this in propositions like the following from 
Pacian, sermo de bapt. 3 : — **Quid est gratia? peccati remissio, «.^., donum ; gratia 
enim donum est." 

sin this respect Ambrose takes an isolated position ; thus it is, e,g,^ characteristic 
that he does not seem to have read Cyprian's works. 

s I express myself thus intentionally ; for Ambrose never, in words, thrust the 
actual, hierarchical Church into the foreground. 

* See proofs by Forster, I.e., p. 2x8 ff. 


moral wants of the community.^ Thus Ambrose represents the 
intimate union of the ascetic ideal with energetic insistence on 
positive morality, a union which the Western mediaeval Church 
never lost, however much practical life was subordinated to the 

Three different types of thought are interwoven in Ambrose's 
doctrine of sin and grace. First, he was dependent on the 
Greek conception that regarded evil as not-being, but at the same 
time as necessary.* Secondly, he shows that he was strongly 
influenced by the popular morality of Ciceronian Stoicism,^ which 
was widespread among cultured Western Christians, and which 
had, by its combination with monastic morality, brought about, 
in Pelagianism, the crisis so decisive for the dogmatics of the 
West Thirdly and finally, he carried very much further that 
view taken by Tertullian of the radical nature of evil and the 
j^tltiness of sin which was made his fundamental principle by 
Augustine. Evil was radical, and yet its root was not found in 
the sensuous, but in ^^ pride of mind " {superbia animi); it sprang 
from freedom, and tvas yet a poiver propagating itself in man- 
kind. The Greeks had looked on the universal state of sinfulness 
as a more or less accidental product of circumstances ; Ambrose 
regarded it as the decisive fact, made it the starting-point of his 
thought, and referred it more definitely than any previous 
teacher — Ambrosiaster excepted — to Adam's Fall* Passages 
occur in his works which in this respect do not fall a whit 
behind the famous statements of Augustine.^ 

I See at an earlier date the Instructiones of Commodian. Ambrose was not such 
an advocate of Monachism as Jerome. 

*See alwve, p. 31. 

3 See Ewald, Der Einfluss der stoisch-ciceronianischen Moral auf die Darstellung 
der Ethik bei Ambrosius, 188 1. " De officiis,'' with all its apparent consistency, shows 
merely a considerable vacillation between virtue as the supreme good (in the Stoic 
sense) and eternal life— which latter term, for the rest, is not understood in its Chris* 
tian meaning. The moralism of antiquity, as well as the eudaimonist trait of ancient 
moral philosophy dominate the book, in which ultimately the '* true wise man " 
appears roost clearly. In such circumstances the distinction drawn between pracepta 
and consilia, in itself so dangerous to evangelical morality, constitutes an advantage ; 
for specifically Christian virtues appear in the form of the consilia, 

^ Hilary also speaks of the vitium originis, 

'See Deutsch, Des Ambrosius Lehre von der Slinde und SUndentilgung, 1867. 



But important as this phase was, in which thought was no 
longer directed primarily to sin's results, or to the single sinful 
act, but to the sinful state which no virtue could remove, yet it 
is just in this alone, that we can perceive the advance made by 
Ambrose. As regards religion, none is to be found in his 
works ; for his doctrine of the traducian character and tenacity 
of sin was in no way connected with the heightened conscious- 
ness of God and salvation. Ambrose did not submit evil to be 
decided upon in the light of religion. Therefore he merely groped 
his way round the guilty character of sin, without hitting upon 
it ; he could once more emphasise the weakness of the flesh as 
an essential factor ; and he could maintain the proposition that 
man was of himself capable of willing the good. For this 
reason, finally, his doctrine of sin is to us ah irreconcilable mass 
of contradictions. But we must, nevertheless, estimate veiy 
highly the advance made by Ambrose in contemplating the 
radical sinful condition. It was undoubtedly important for 
Augustine. And to this is to be added that he was able to 
speak in a very vivid way of faith, conceiving it to be a living 
communion with God or Christ. The religious individualism 
which shines clearly in Augustine already does so faintly in 
Ambrose : " Let Christ enter thy soul, let Jesus dwell in your 
minds. . . . What advants^e is it to me, conscious of such 
great sins, if the Lord do come, unless He comes into my soul, 
returns into my mind, unless Christ lives in me ? "^ And while 

Forster, 1. c. , p. 146 ff. All human beings are sinners, even Mary. The " hsereditariam 
vinculum " of sin embraces all. '* Fuit Adam, et in illo fiiimus omnes ; periit Adam, 
•et in illo omnes perierunt." It is not only an inherited infirmity that is meant, but a 
^uilt that continues active. '* Quicunque natus est sub peccato, quern ipsa noscise 
conditionis hsereditas adstrinxtt ad culpam." No doctrine of imputation, indeed, yet 
occurs in Ambrose ; for as he conceived it, mankind in Adam was a unity, in which 
took place 2,pcccatrix succession a continuous evolution of Adam's sin. Accordingly 
no imputation was necessary. Ambrosiaster (on Rom. V., 12) has also expressed 
Ambrose's thought : " Manifestum itaque est, in Adam omnes peccasse quasi in massa ; 
ipse enim per peccatum corruptus, quos genuit, omnes, nati sunt sub peccato. Ex eo 
igitur cuncti peccatores, quia ex eo ipso sumus omnes.'' In the West this thought was 
traditional after Tertullian. See Cyprian, Ep. 64, 5 ; De opere i, and Commodian, 
Instruct. I., 35. 

1 ^'Intret in animam tuam Christus, inhabitet in mentibus tuis Jesus. . . . Quid 
mihi prodest tantorum consdo peccatorum, si dominus veniat, nisi veniat in meam 
animam, redeat in meam mentem, nisi vivat in me Christus." In Ps. CXIX., exp. 


in many passages he distinctly describes the merit gained by 
works, and love as means of redemption, yet in some of his re- 
flections, on the other hand, he rises as strongly to the lofty 
thought that God alone rouses in us the disposition for what is 
good, and that we can only depend on the grace of God in 
Christ.^ St Paul's Epistles occupied the foreground in 
Ambrose's thought,^ and from them he learned that faith as 
confidence in God is a power by itself, and does not simply fall 
into the realm of pious belief However much he adds that is 
alien, however often he conceives faith to be an act of obedience 
to an external authority, he can speak of it in different terms 
from his predecessors. Faith is to him the fundamental fact of 
the Christian life, not merely as belief in authority (" faith goes 
before reason," fides praevenit rationem),* but as faith which lays 
hold of redemption through Christy and justifies because it is the 
foundation of perfect works, and because grace and faith are 
alone valid before God. " And that benefits me because we are 
not justified from the works of the law. I have no reason, 
therefore, to glory in my works, I have nothing to boast of; 
and therefore I will glory in Christ I will not boast because I 
am just, but because I am redeemed. I will glory, not because 
I am without sins, but because my sins have been remitted. I 
will not glory because I have done good service, or because 
anyone has benefited me, but because the blood of Christ was 

IV., 26 : in Luc. enarr., X., 7 ; in Ps. XXXVI., exp. 63. The passages are col- 
lected by Forster (see esp. De poenlt., IL, 8). See also Vol. III., p. 130. For the 
rest, the author of the Quiestiones ex Vet. et. Nov. Testam. (Ambrosiaster) could 
also speak in tones whose pathetic individualbm recalls Augustine ; cf. e.g,^ the con- 
clusion of the inserted tractate c. Novat. : " ego . . . te (scil. deum) qusBsivi, te 
desideravi, tibi credidi ; de homine nihil speravi . . . ego verbis antistitis fidem dedi, 
qu89 a te data dicuntur, quseque te inspirant, te loquuntur, de te promittunt ; huic de 
se nihil credidi nee gestis ejus, sed fidei quiB ex te est, me copulavi." 

1 On Ps. CXIX., exp. XX., 14 : " Nemo sibi arroget, nemo de mentis, nemo de 
potestate se jactet, sed omnes speremus per dominum Jesum misericordiam invenire — 
quae enim spes alia peccatoribus ? '^ 

' The interrogation mark in Renter, August. Studien, p. 493, is due to exagge- 
rated caution. The antithesis of nature and grace, which, wherever it occurs, has 
one of its roots in Paulinism, and was already ^miliar to Tertullian, is anew pro- 
claimed in Ambrose ; see De off. I., 7, 24 ; see also the address on the death of his 
brother. Ambrosiaster, too, makes use of the naturargratia antithesis. 

s De Abrah., I., 3,-2i. 


shed for me.*'^ That is Augustinianism before Augustine, nay, 
it is more than Augustinianism.^ 

In the dogmatic work of Western theologians of the fourth 
century, the genius of Western Christianity, which found its 
most vigorous expression in Cyprian's De opere et eleemosynis, 
fell away to some extent But it only receded, remaining still 
the prevailing spirit. The more vital notion of God, tJie strong 
feeling of respotisibility to God asjudge^ the consciousness of God 
as moral power, neither restricted nor dissolved by any speculation 
on nature — all that constituted the superiority of Western to 
Eastern Christianity is seen in its worst form under the deterio- 
rating influence of the legal doctrine of retribution, and the 
pseudo-moral one of merit,^ In view of this, the inrush of Neo- 
platonic mysticism was highly important; for it created a 
counterpoise to a conception which threatened to dissolve 
religion into a series of legal transactions. But the weightiest 
counterpoise consisted in the doctrine of faith and grace as pro- 
claimed by Augustine. However, it will be shown that Augus- 
tine taught his new conception in such a form that it did not 
shatter the prevailing system, but could rather be admitted into 
it ; perhaps the greatest triumph ever achieved in the history of 
religion by a morality of calculations over religion. 

The conception of religion as a legal relationship, which was 
concerned with the categories lex (law) delictum (fault) satis- 
factio, poena (punishment) meritum, praemium, etc., was not de- 
stroyed by Augustine. Grace was rather inserted in a legal 
and objective form into the relationship, yet in such a way that 
it remained possible for the individual to construe the whole 
relationship from the point of view of grace. 

1 De Jacob et vita beata I., 6, 21 ; other passages in Forster, pp. 160 ff, 303 ft 
3 A detailed account would here require to discuss many other Western writers, 
«.^., Prudentius (see monograplis by Brockbaus, 1872, and Rosier, 1886), Pacian, 
Zeno, Paulinus of Nola, etc. ; but what we have given may serve to define the 
directions in which Western Christianity moved. As regards Hilary, Forster has 
shown very recently (Stud. u. Krit, 1888, p. 645 fF.) that even he, in spite of his I 

dependence on the Greeks, did not belie the practical ethical interest of the 

s The East knew nothing of this excessive analysis ; it took a man more as a I 

whole, and judged him by the regular course taken by his will. 


We have attempted, in the above discussion, to exhibit the 
different lines existing in the West which meet in Augustine. 
Let us, in conclusion, emphasise further the following points. 

I. Along with Holy Scripture, the Symbol, the Apostolic 
"law" (lex), was placed in the West on an unapproachable 
height This law was framed in opposition to Marcionitism, 
Sabellianism, Arianism, and Apollinarianism, without essential 
variations, and without any process of reasoning, as a confession 
of faith in the unify of God in three persons, as also in the unity 
of Christ in two substances. The Western Church, therefore, 
apparently possessed a lofty certitude in dealing with Trinitarian 
and Christological problems. But with this certitude was con- 
trasted the fact, of which we have many instances, that under 
cover of the official confession many more Christological heresies 
circulated, and were maintained in the West than in the 
Churches of the East, and that in particular the Christological 
formula, where it was not wholly unknown,^ was, for the laity 
and for many of the clergy, simply a noumenon.^ This fact is 
further confirmed when we observe that Western theologians, as 
long as they were not directly involved in Eastern controversies, 
did not turn their attention to the principles contained in the above 
" law^^ but to quite different questions. Augustine was not the 
first to write " expositions of the Symbol," in which questions, 
wholly different from what his text would lead us to expect, 

^ I have already discussed this briefly in Vol. III., p. 33 ff. Augustine (Confess. 
VII., 19) believed, up to the time of his conversion, that the doctrine of Christ held 
by the Catholic Church was almost identical with that of Photinus ; his friend Alypius 
thought, on the contrary, that the Church denied Christ a human soul. We see 
from Hilary's work, De trinitate, how many Christological conceptions circulated in 
the Western communities, among them even " quod in eo ex virgine creando efiicax 
Dei sapientia et virtus exstiterit, et in nativitate ejus divinae prudentiae et potestatis 
opus intellegatur, sitque in eo efficientia potius quam natura sapientise." Optatus (I., 
8) had to blame Parmenian for calling the body of Christ sinful^ and maintaining 
that it was purified by his baptism. Further, in spite of the doctrine of " two 
natures," and the acceptance of Greek speculations, the thought of Hippolytus 
(Philos. X., 33) : ti yiip 6 $e6s OcSp <re ijOikyiffe irot^ai, iH^aror l^eis rod \6yov t6 
irapi8€iyfjLai runs like a concealed thread through the Christological utterances of the 
West. We shall see that even in Ambrose and Augustine there is to be found a 
hidden, but intentionally retained, remnant of the old Adoptian conception. (How 
this is to be regarded, see above under 2). We may here pass over the influence of 
Manichsean Christology on many secondary minds in the Western Churches. 


were discussed. On the contrary, Western theologians from 
Cyprian show that they lived in a complex of ideas and ques- 
tions which had little to do with the problems treated by Anti- 
gnostics and Alexandrians, or with dogma. 

2. In connection with the development of penance on the 
basis of works and merits (in the sense of satisfactions), and in 
harmony with the legal spirit characteristic of Western theolo- 
gical speculation, Christ's expiatory work came now to the 
front It was not so much the Incarnation — that was the 
antecedent condition — as the death of Christ, which was re- 
garded as the salient point (punctum saliens) ; ^ and it was 
already treated from all conceivable points of view as a 
sacrificial death, atonement, ransom, and vicarious consumma- 
tion of the crucifixion. At the same time, Ambrose discussed 
its relationship (reconciliatio, redemptio, satisfactio, immolatio» 
meritum) to sin as guilt (reatus). In such circumstances the 
accent fell on the .human nature of Christ ; the offerer and 
offering was the mediator as man, who received his value 
through the divine nature, though quite as much so by his 
acceptance on the part of the Deity. Thus the West had a 
Christological system of its own, which, while the formula of 
the two natures formed its starting-point, was pursued in a new 
direction : the mediator was looked on as the man whose voluntary 
achievement possessed an infinite value in virtue of the special dis- 
pensation of God,^ (Optat L, lO : " the world [was] reconciled to 
God by means of the flesh of Christ " : mundus reconciliatus deo 
per camem Christi.) From this we can understand how Augus- 
tine, in not a few of his arguments, opposed, if in a veiled 
fashion, the doctrine of the divine nature of Christ, discussing 
the merits of the historical Christ as if that nature did not exist, 
but everything was given to Christ o{ grace? The same reason 

1 Pseudo-Cyprian, De duplici martyrio, i6 : *' Domini mors potentior erat quam 

>For fuller details, see Vol. III., p. 310 fT. RitschI, Lehre v.d., Rechtfertigun^ 
Q. Vers8hnung, 2nd. ed., I., p, 38, II 1 1, p. 362. Gesch. des Pietism. III., p. 426 ff. 

s See e.g. , the remarkable expositions ad Laurentium, c. 36 sq. The divine nature 
is indeed regarded as resting in the background ; but in Jesus Christ there comes ta 
the front the ** individual " man, who, without previous merit, was of grace receivedl 
into the Deityt 


further explains why afterwards modified Adoptianism was 
constantly re-emerging in the West,^ it being from the stand- 
point of the consistent Greek Christology the worst of heresies 
because it dislocated the whole structure of the latter, and threw 
its purpose into confusion. Finally, the same fact also explains 
why, in later times. Western Christians, particularly such as had 
acquired the mystical monachist observance of intercourse with 
Christ, the chaste bridegroom, substantially reduced the Christo- 
logical conception to ** Ecce homo." The vividness and thrilling 
power which this figure possessed for them, raising them above 
sorrow and suffering, cannot deceive us as to the fact that the 
Church Christology was no longer anything to them but a 
forixiula. But while the ancient Western form had become the 
basis of a view which left fancy and disposition to fix the signi- 
ficance of Christ's Person, that must not be described as a 
necessary deduction from it. That form — in which Christ was 
the object of the Father's grace, carried out what the Father 
entrusted him with, and by Him was exalted — rather corres- 
ponded to the clearest passages of the New Testament, and was 
the only protection against the superstitious conceptions of the 
Greeks which emptied the Gospel of all meaning. Of decisive 
value, however, are not the various mediaeval attempts to ap- 
praise Christ's work^ but rather the whole tendency to under- 
stand Christianity as the religion of atonement ; for in this 
tendency is expressed characteristically the fear of God asjudge^ 
which, in the East, disappeared behind mystic speculations.^ 

3: An acute observer perceives that the soteriological question 
— How does man get rid, and remain rid, of his sins and attain 
eternal life ? — had already, in the fourth century, actively en- 
gaged the earnest attention of thinkers in the Western Church, 
and, indeed, in such a way that, as distinguished from the East, 
the religious and moral sides of the problem are no longer found 
separate. But the question was not clearly put before the 
Pelagian conflict, since the controversies with Heraclius and 
Jovinian were not followed by a lasting movement. Opinions 
were still jumbled together in a motley fashion, sometimes in 

1 See the evidence in Bach's Dogmengesch. des Mittelalters, Vol. II. 
> See Vol IIL,p. 189. 


one and the same writer. If I see aright, five different con- 
ceptions can be distinguished for the period about 400 A.D. 
First we have the Manichaan which insinuated its way in the 
darkness, but was widely extended, even among the clergy; 
according to it evil was a real physical power, and was over- 
come in the individual by goodness, equally a physical force 
which was attached to natural potencies and Christ.^ Secondly, 
we have the Neoplatonic and Alexandrian view which taught 
that evil was not-being, that which had not yet become, the 
necessary foil of the good, the shadow of the light, the transitori- 
ness cleaving to the " many " in opposition to the " one." It 
held that redemption was the return to the one, the existent, to 
God ; that it was identification with God in love ; Christ was 
the strength and crutches for such a return ; for *' energies and 
crutches come from one hand." * Thirdly, there was the ration- 
alistic Stoic conception ; this held that virtue was the supreme 
good ; sin was the separate evil act springing from free will ; 
redemption was the concentration of the will and its energetic 
direction to the good. Here again the historical and Christo- 
logical were really nothing but crutches.* All these three 
conceptions lay the greatest stress on asceticism. Fourthly, 
there was the sacramental view, which may be characterised 
partly as morally lax, partly as "evangelical"; we find it, e,g.^ 
in Heraclius* on the one hand, and in Jovinian* on the other. 
According to it he who was baptised possessing genuine faith 
obtained the guarantee of felicity ; sin could not harm him ; no 
impeachment of sin (reatus peccati) could touch him. It is 
proved that really lax and "evangelical'" views met: a man 
could always rely as a Christian on the grace of God ; sin did 
not separate him from God, if he stood firm in the faith. Nay, 
from the second century, really from Paul, there existed in the 

1 See on the extension of Manichaeism in the West, Vol. III., p. 334 fL It was 
always more Christian and therefore more dangerous there. On its importance to 
Augus ine, see under. 

* See the conceptions of Ambrose, Victorinus, and Augustine. 

s See the Western popular philosophies in the style of Cicero, but also Ambrose' 
De ofiiciis. 

J Sec above, p. 40 f. 

Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine and Siricius give us information regarding him« 


Gentile Church movements which deliberately defended reliance 
on faith alone (the "sola fide") and "the most assured sal- 
vation through grace granted in baptism " (salus per gratiam in 
baptismo donatam certissima.) ^ A fifth conception was closely 
related to, yet different from, the last We can call it briefly 
the doctrine of grace and merit. We have pointed out strong 
traces of it in Victorinus, Optatus, and Ambrose. According 
to it, evil as the inherent sin of Adam was only to be eradicated 
by divine grace in Christ ; this grace produced faith to which, 
however, redemption was only granted when it had advanced 
and become the habitual love from which those good works 
spring that establish merit in the sight of God. Evil is 
godlessness and the vice that springs from it ; goodness is the 

1 1 have demonstrated this in the Ztschr. f. Theol. u. Kiiche I. (1891), pp. 82-178, 
and cannot repeat the proof here. From the I. £p. of John onwards undercurrents 
can be traced in the Gentile Church which required to have the saying addressed to 
them : ** Be not deceived, he who ehes righteousness is righteous." My main refer- 
ences are to the erroneous views opposed in the Catholic Epistles ; the lax Christians 
mentioned by TertuUian ; the edict on penance of Calixtus, with its noteworthy 
evangelical l»sis (see also Rolffs in the Texten u. Unters, Vol. XI., part 3) ; Heraclius 
in Rome ; the counter-efforts of the lax against the monachism which was establishing 
itself in the West ; Jovinian ; and to the opponents assailed by Augustine in his 
very important writing, *' De fide et operibus.'' This writing is, along with Jovinian's 
discussions, the most important source. There can be no doubt that in the majority 
of cases an unbridled and accommodating trust in the sacrament — accordingly a 
strained form of the popular Catholic feeling — was the leading idea, and that the 
reference to Gospel texts, which bore witness to the unlimited mercy of God, was 
only a drapery; that accordingly the "sola fide'' — the catchword occurs — was not 
conceived evangelically, but really meant "solo sacramento" — r«., even if the life 
did not correspond to the Christian demand for holiness. But there were Christian 
teacheri who had really grasped the evangelical thesis, and Jovinian is to be counted 
one of them, even if his opponents be right (and I am doubtful of this) in taking 
offence at his conduct ; and even if it be certain that his doctrine, in the circumstances 
of the time, could and did promote laxity. His main positions were as follows : — 
I. The natural man is in the state of sin. Even the slightest sin separates from God 
and exposes to damnation. 2. The state of the Christian re^ts on baptism and faith ; 
these produce regeneration. 3. Regeneration is the state in which Christ is in us, 
and we are in Christ ; there are no degrees in it, for this personal relationship either 
does or does not exist. Where it does, there is righteousness. 4. It is a relation 
formed by love that is in question : Father and Son dwell in believers ; but where 
there is such an indweller^ the possessor can want for nothing, 5. Accordingly all 
blessings are bestowed with and in this relationship ; nothing can be thought of as 
capable of being added. 6. Since all blessings issue from this relationship, there 
can be no special meritorious works ; for at bottom there is only one good, and that 


energy of grace and the good works that flow frbm it Here, 
accordingly, nature and grace, unbeh'ef and faith, selfishness and 
love of God are the antitheses, and the work of the historical 
Christ stands in the centre. Nevertheless, this view did not 
exclude asceticism, but required it, since only that faith was 
genuine and justified men which evinced itself in sanctification, 
i.e,y in world-renouncing love. Thus a middle path was here 
sought between Jovinian on the one side and Manichsan and 
Priscillian asceticism on the other.^ 

These different conceptions met and were inextricably 
mingled. The future of Christianity was necessarily to be 
decided by the victory of one or other of them. 

wc passcss as the best beloved children of God, who now participate in the divine 
nature, and that good will be fully revealed in Heaven. 7. In him who occupies 
this relationship of faith and love there is nothing to be condemned ; he can com- 
mit no sin which would separate him from God ; the devil cannot make him fall, 
for he ever recovers himself as a child of God by faith and penitence. The relation^ 
ship fixed in baptism through faith is something lasting and indissoluble. 8. But 
such an one must not only be baptised ; he must have received baptism with perfect 
faith, and by faith evince baptismal grace. He must labour and wrestle earnestly 
— though not in monkish efforts, for they are valueless — not in order to deserve 
something further, but that he may not lose what he has received.- To him, too, the 
truth applies that there are no small and great sins, but that the heart is either with 
God or the devil. 9. Those who are baptised in Christ, and cling to Him with con- 
fident faith, form the one, true Church. To her belong all the glorious promises i 
she is bride, sister, mother, and is never without her bridegroom. She lives in one 
faith, and is never violated or divided, but is a pure virgin. We may call Jovinian 
actually a '* witness of antiquity to the truth," and a *' Protestant of his time,** 
though we must not mistake a point of difference : the indwelling of God and Christ 
in the baptised is more strongly emphasised than the power of faith. 

The Spaniard, Vigilantius, even surpassed Jovinian, both in range and intensity^ 
in the energy with which he attacked the excrescences of monkery, relic-worship, 
virginity, etc.; but he does not belong to this section, for he was moved by the 
impression made upon him by the superstition and idolatry which he saw rising to- 
supremacy in the Church. Jerome's writing against him is miserable, but is surpased 
in meanness by the same author's books against Jovinian. . 

^ The puzzling phenomenon of Priscillianism has not been made much clearer by 
the discovery of Priscillian's homilies. I believe we may pass them over, since, im* 
portnnt as were the points touched on in the Priscillian controversy (even the question 
as to the claims of the ** Apocrypha " compared with the Bible), they neither evoked 
a dogmatic controversy, nor obtained a more general significance. The meritorious 
work by Paret, Priscillianus, ein Reformator des 4 Jahrh. (Wurzburg, X891) is not 
convincing in its leading thoughts (see on the other side Hilgenfeld in bis Zeitschr* 
Vol. 35, 1892, pp. 185). 


4. In the West, interest in the question of the relation of 
grace and means of grace to the Church was awakened by the 
Novatian, heretical baptism, and Donatist controversy. This 
interest was, however, still further strengthened by the fact that 
the Church detached itself more forcibly from the State than in 
the East. The fall of the West Roman Empire, opposition to 
the remains of a still powerful heathen party in Rome, and 
finally dislike to the new Arian German forms of government 
all contributed to this. 

One perhaps expects to find here by way of conclusion a 
characterisation of the different national Churches of the West ; 
but little can be said from the standpoint of the history of 
dogma. The distinctive character of the North African Church 
was strongly marked. A darkness broods over the Churches 
of Spain, Gaul, and Britain, in which the only clear spot is the 
conflict of the priests with the monachism that was establishing 
itself. The conflict with Priscillianism in Spain, the attacks on 
Martin of Tours in Gaul, and, on the other hand, Vigilantius, 
come in here. It is not unimportant to notice that Southern 
Gaul was distinguished by its culture and taste for aesthetics and 
rhetoric about A.D. 360 (see Julian's testimony) and A.D. 400 
(see Sulp. Severus, Chron. init). Rome only became a 
Christian city in the fifth century, but even in the time of 
Liberius and Damasus the Roman Bishop was the foremost 
Roman. What was wrested by Damasus, that unsaintly but 
sagacious man, from the State and the East, was never again 
abandoned by his energetic successors ; they also tried vigorous 
intervention in the affairs of the provincial Churches. Holding 
faithfully to its confession, the Roman Church was, not only 
from its position, but also by its nature, the connecting link 
between East and West, between the monachist leanings of the 
former, and the tendency to ecclesiastical politics and sacra- 
mentarianism of the latter. It also united South and North in 
the West Rome, again, from the time of Liberius pursued and 
explained that religious policy towards paganism, "by which 
the Catholic Church gained the means not only of winning but 
of satisfying the masses of the people who were, and, in spite of 


the confeission, remained heathen " (Usener, Relig. Unters., I., p. 
293) : " it rendered heathenism harmless by giving its blessing to 
it, !>., to all that belonged to the pagan cultus." But that mag- 
nanimous way of opposing paganism, which has been rightly ad- 
duced, and which Usener (op. cit.) has begun to exhibit to us so 
learnedly and instructively, concealed within it the greatest 
dangers. In such circumstances it was of supreme value both 
for the contemporary and future fortunes of the Church that, 
just when the process of ethnicising was in full swing, Augustine, 
equally at home in North Africa, Rome, and Milan, appeared 
and reminded the Church what Christian faith was. 




" Virtues will so increase and be perfected as to conduct thee 
without any hesitation to the truly blessed life which only is 
eternal : where evils, which will not exist, are not discriminated 
from blessings hy prudence, nor adversity is borne bravely^ because 
there we shall find only what we love, not also what we tolerate, 
nor lust is bridled by temperance, where we shall not feel its 

1 Of the immense literature about Augustine, the following works may be men- 
tioned (with special regard to the Pelagian controversy) : The critical investigations 
of the Benedictines in their editions of Aug.'s Opp., and the controversies over his 
doctrine of g^ace in the i6th to the i8th century; the works of Petavius, Noris (Hist. 
Pelag.)» Tillemont, Gamier, Mansi, Hefele; Bindemaun, Der hi. Aug. 3 vols., 
1844-69; Bohringer, Aur. Aug., 2 ed., 1877-78; Reuter, August. Studien, 1887 
(the best of later works) ; A. Domer, Aug., sein theol. System und seine relig.- 
phtlos. Anschauung, 1873; Loofs, "Augustinus in the 3 Ed. of the R.-Encykl. v. 
Hauck, Vol. n., pp. 257-285 (an excellent study, with an especially good discussion 
of the period to 395). Comprehensive expositions in Ritter, Baur, Nitzsch, 
Thomasius, Schwane, Huber (Philos. der KVV.), Jul. Miiller (L. v, d. Silnde), 
Domer (Entwicklgesch. d. L. v. d. Person Christi), Prantl (Gesch. d. Logik), 
Siebeck (Gesch. d. Psychologie), Zeller ; see esp. Eucken, Die Lebenanschauungen 
der grossen Denker (1890) p. 258 ff. — Naville, S' Aug., Etude 5ur le devdoppement 
de sa pens^ jusqu ^ I'^poque de son ordination (Geneva 1872). Bomemann, Aug.'s 
Bekenntnisse, 1888; Hamack, Aug.'s Confessionen, 1888 ; Boissier, La conversion de 
S. Aug. in the Rev. de deux mondes, 1888 Jan. ; Worter, Die Geistesentw. d. h. Aug. 
bis zu seiner Taufe, 1892 ; Overbeck, Aug. u. Hieronymus in the Histor. Ztschr. N. 
F., Vol. VI. ; Feuerlein, Ueb. d. Stellung Aug.*s in the Kirchenund Culturgesch. 
Histor. Ztschr., XXII., p. 270 if. (see Reuter, l.c. p. 479 ff.) ; Ritschl, Ueber die 
Methode der altesten D.-G. in the Jahrbb. f. deutsche Theol., 1871 (idem, Rechtfert. 
und Versohn. Vol. I., Gesch. d. Pietismus Vol. I.) ; Kattenbusch, Studien z. Sym- 
bolik in the Stud. u. Krit. 1878; Reinkens, Geschichtsphilos. d. hi. Aug., iSibb ; 
Seyrich, Geschichts philosophie Aug.'s, 1891 ; Gangauf, Metaphys. Psychologie d. hi. 
Aug., 1852 ; Bestmann, Qua ratione Aug. notiones philosophiae graecae, etc., 1877 > 
Lcesche, De Aug. Platonizante 1880; Ferraz, Psychologie de S. Aug., 1862; 
Nourissou, La philosophie de S. Aug., 2 Ed., 1866 ; Storz, Die Philosophie des hi. 
Aug., 1882 ; Scipio, Des Aurel. Aug. Adetaphysik, etc., 1886 ; Melzer, Die augus.. 
Lehre vom Causalitatsverhaltniss Gottes zur Welt, 1892; Melzer, Augustini et Cartesii 



incitements, nor the needy are aided Justly, where we will have 
no need and nothing unworthy. TAere virtue will be one, and 
virtue and the reward of virtue will be that spoken of in sacred 
phrase by the man who loves it : ** But to me to cling to God is a 
good thing^ This virtue will be there the full and eternal wisdom, 
and it will also truly be the life that is blessed. Surely this is 

placita de mentis humanae sui cognitione, i860 ; Siebeck, Die Anfange der neueren 
Psychologie in the Ztschr. f. Philos., 1888, p. 161 ff. ; Kahl, Der Primal des Willens 
bei Aug., 1886; Schtitz, August, non esse ontologum, 1867 ; Heinzelmann, Aug.'s 
Ansichten vom Wesen der menschlichen Seele, 1894 ; van Endert, Gottesbeweis in d. 
patrist. Zeit, 1869 ; Clauren, Aug. s. script, interpret., 1822 ; Gangauf, Des hi. Aug. 
Lehre von Gott dem Dreieinigen, 1865 ; Nitssch, Aug.'s Lehre v. Wunder, 1865. 
Walch, De pelagianismo ante Pelagium, 1783 ; idem. hist, doctrinae de peccato orig., 
1783 ; Horn, Comm. de sentent. patrum . . . de pecc. originali, 180: ; Dunker, 
Pecc orig. et act., 1836; Krabinger, Der angebliche Pelagianismus d. voraugust. W. 
Tub Quartalschr., 1853 ; Kuhn, Der vorgebl. Pelagianismus d. voraugust. W., in 
same journal ; Walch, Ketzerhislorie, Vols. IV. and V. ; Wiggers, Pragmat Darstell. 
des Augustinismus u. Pelagianismus, 2 Vols., 1831-33 (the continuation on Semipela- 
gianism in the Zeitschr. f. d. hbtor. Theol., 1854 ff.) ; Rottmanner, Der Augustinis- 
mus, 1892 ; Jacobi, Die Lehre des Pelagius, 1842 ; Leutzen, de Pelagianonim 
doctrinae principiis, 1833 ; Jul. Muller, Der Pelagianismus in the deutsche 
Zeitschr f. christl. Wissensch., 1854, Nr. 40 t ; Worter, Der Pelagianismus, 
1866; Klasen, Die innere Entw. des Pelagianism., 1882; Gcffcken, Histor. semipela^;., 
1826 ; Wiggers, de Joanne Cass., 1824-25 ; Worter, Prosper v. Aquitanien iiber 
Gnade und Freiheit, 1867 ; Landerer, Das Verhaltniss v. Gnade u. Freiheit in the 
Jahrbb. f. deutsche Theol. , VoL II., 1857 ; Luthardt, Die L. v. freien Willen u. s. Verb, 
z. Gnade, 1863 ; Kihn, Theodor. v. Mopsueste, 1880 ; Ritschl, Expos, doctr. S. Aug. 
de creat., peccato, gratia, 1843 ; Zeller, Die Lehre des Paulus u. Augustinus v. d. 
Siinde u. Gnade in ihrem Verhaltniss z. protest. Kirchenlehre (Theol. Jahrbb., 1854, 
p. 295 ff.) ; Ehlers, Aug. <le origine mali doctrina, 1857 ; Nirschl, Ursp. u. Wesen 
des Bdsen nach Aug., 1854 ; Hamma, Die L. des hL Aug. uber die Concupiscenz in 
the Tttb. Quartalschr., 1873 ; Voigt, Comment, de theoria August., Pelag., Semi- 
pelag. et Synergist., 1829 ; Kiihner, Aug.'s Anschauung v. d. Erlosungsbedeutung 
Christi, 1890 ; Dieckhoff, Aug.'s L. v. d. Gnade in the Mecklenb. Theol. Ztschr. L, 
i860 ; Weber, Aug. de jusiificatione doctr. ; Ernst, Die Werke der Unglaubigen nach 
Aug., 1871 ; Beck, PiSdest. — Lehre in the Stud. u. Krit., 1847, II. ; Koch, Autori- 
tiit Aug.'s in der Lehre v. der Gnade u. Pradest., in the TUb. Quartalschr., 1891, p. 
95 ff. ; H. Schmidt, Origenes u. Aug. als Apologeten, in the Jahrbb. f. deutsche 
Theologie, Vol. VIII.; Bigg, The. Christian Platonists of Alexandria, 1886.— On 
Aug.'s doctrine of Baptism see Renter, Kliefoth (Liturg. Abhandl.), and Hofling. 
Wilden, Die L. d. hi. Aug. v. Opfer d. Eucharistie, 1864 ; Ginzel L. d. hi. Aug. v. 
d. Kirche, in the Tub. Theol. Quartalschr., 1849 ; Kostlin, Die kathol Auffass. v. d. 
Kirche, etc., in the deutschen Zeitschrift f. christl. Wissensch., 1856, Nr. 14; H. 
Schmidt, Aug.'s L. v. d. Kirche, in the Jahrbb. f. deutsche Theol., 1861 (id. Die 
Kirche, 1884) ; Seeberg, Begriff d. christl. Kirche, Pt I., 1885 ; Ronx, Diss. de. 
Au^. adversario Donatistarum, 1838 ; Ribbcck, Donatus und. Augustinus, 1858. 


to attain to the eternal and supreme blessing, to which to cling for 
ever is the end of our goodness. Let this (virtue) be called 
frudencey because it will cling to the good too ieagerly for it to be 
lost, ^TiA fortitudey because it will cling to the good too firmly for 
it to be torn away, and temperance, because it will cling to the 
good too chastely to be corrupted, and justice, because it will 
cling to the good too justly to be inferior in any merit. 
Although even in this life the only virtue is to love what ought to 
be loved. But what should we choose chiefly to love except that 
than which we find nothing better? This is God, and if we 
prefer anything or esteem anything equal to love to him we fail 
to love ourselves. For it is the better for us, the more we enter 
into him, than whom there is nothing better. But we move not 
by walking, but by loving. We may not go (to him) afoot, but 
with our character. But our character is wont to be judged, not 
from what anyone know3, but from what he loves. Nothing 
makes character good or bad but good of bcul affections. There- 
fore, by our corruption, we have been far from the righteousness 
of God. Whence we are corrected by loving the right, that 
being just we may be able to cling to the right"^ 

^August. Ep. 155 c. 12. 13. " Virtutes ita crescent et perficientur, ut te ad vitam 
▼ere beatam, quae nonnisi sterna est, sine uUa dubitatione perducant : ubi jam nee 
prudenter discernantur a bonis mala, quse non erunt, nee fortiUr tolerentur adversa, 
quia non ibi erit nisi quod amemus, non etiam quod toleremus, nee temperanter 
libido frenetur, ubi nulla ejus incitamenta sentiemus, nee juste subveniatur ope in- 
digentibus, ubi inopem atque indignum non habebimus. Una ibi virtus erit, et idip- 
sum erit virtus pramiumque virtutis, quod dicit in Sanctis eloquiis homo qui hoc 
amat : Miki autem adharere deo bonum est. Usee ibi erit plena et sempitema sapi- 
entia eademque veraciter vita jam beata. Petventio quippe est ad atemutn ac 
summum bonum, cui adharere est finis tiostri boni. Dicatur liaee et prudentia quia 
prospeetissime adhserebit bono quod non amittatur, et fortttudo, quia fermissimc ad- 
bserebit bono unde non avellatur, et temperantia, quia castissime adhrerebit bono, ubi 
non cormmpatur, cijustitia, quia reetissime adhserebit bono, cui merito subjiciatur. 
Quamquam et in kac vita virtus non est nisi diligere quod diligendum est. Quid 
autem eligaraus quod prsecipue diligamus, nisi quo nihil melius invenimus? Hoe 
dens est, cui si diligendo aliquid vel praeponimus vel aequamus, nos ipsos diligere 
nescimus. Tanto enim nobis melius est, quanto tnagis in ilium imus, quo nihil 
naelius est. Imus autem non ambulando, sed amando. Ad eum non pedibus ire 
licet, sed moribus. Mores autem nostri, non ex eo quod quisque novit, sed ex co 
quod diligit, dijudicari solent. Nee faciunt bonos vel malos mores, nisi boni vel mali 
ampres^ Pravitate ergo. nostra a rectitudine dei longe fuimus. Unde rectum amando 
corrigimur, ut recto recti ad hserere^possimus.*' 


Augustine reveals his soul in these words ; they therefore 
also mark his importance in the history of dogma. If, as we 
have attempted in the preceding chapter, we pursue and let 
converge the different lines along which Western Christianity 
developed in the fourth and fifth centuries, we can construct a 
system which approximates to " Augustinianism " ; indeed we 
can even deduce the latter, as a necessary product, from the 
internal and external conditions in which the Church and 
theology then found themselves. But we cannot, for all 
that, match the man who was behind the system and lent it 
vigour and life. Similarly we can attempt — and it is a remun- 
erative task — to make Augustine's Christian conception of the 
world intelligible from the course of his education, and to show 
how no stage in his career failed to influence him. His pagan 
father, and pious. Christian mother, Cicero's Hortensius, Manich- 
aeism, Aristotelianism, Neoplatonism, with its mysticism and 
scepticism, the impression produced by Ambrose and monach- 
ism — all contributed their share.^ But even from this stand- 
point we cannot finally do complete justice to the distinctive 
character of this man. That is his secret and his greatness, and 
perhaps all or any analysis itself is an injury : he knew his heart 
to be his worst possession^ and the living God to be his highest good ; 
he lived in the love of God, and he possessed a fascinating power 
of expressing his observations on the inner life. In doing this, he 
taught the world that the highest and sweetest enjoyment was 
to be sought in the feeling that springs from a soul that has 
triumphed over its pain, from the love of God as the fountain of 
good, and therefore from the certainty of grace. Theologians 
before him had taught that man must be changed in order to be 
blessed ; he taught that man could be a new being if he let God 
find him, and if he found himself and God, from the midst of 
his distraction and dissipation. 

He destroyed the delusion of ancient popular psychology 
and morality ; he gave the final blow to the intellectualism of 
antiquity ; but he resuscitated it in the pious thought of the 
man who found true being and the supreme good in the living 

^ Compare my lecture " Augusttn's Confessionen," x888. See also Essay by G. 
Boissier in the Rev. de deux mund., i Jan., 1888. 


God. He was the first to separate nature and grace^ two spheres 
which men had long attempted unsuccessfully to divide ; but by 
this means he connected religion and morality, and gave a new 
meaning to the idea of the good. He was the first to mark off 
the scope and force of the heart and will, and to deduce from 
this what moralists and religious philosophers imagined they 
had understood, but never had understood ; he set up 
a fixed goal for the aimless striving of asceticism : 
perfection in the love of God, suppression of selfish 
ambition, humility. He taught men to realise the horror 
of the depth of sin and guilt which he disclosed, at the same 
time with the blessed feeling of an ever-comforted misery, and a 
perennial grace. He first perfected Christian pessimism, whose 
upholders till then had really reserved for themselves an 
extremely optimistic view of human nature. But while showing 
that radical evil was the mainspring of all human action, he 
preached also the regeneration of the will, by which man 
adapted himself to the blessed life. He did not bridge for 
feeling and thought the gulf which Christian tradition disclosed 
between this world and the next ; but he testified so thrillingly 
to the blessedness of the man who had found rest in God, that 
nothing was reserved for the future life but an indescribable 
" vision." But above all and in all, he exhibited to every soul 
its glory and its responsibility : God and the soul, the soul and 
its God. He took religion — a transfigured and moulded 
monachism, dominated by positive conceptions and trust in 
Christ — out of its congregational and ritualistic form, and set it 
in the hearts of individuals as a gift and a task. He preached 
the sincere humility which blossoms only on ruins — the ruins 
of self-righteousness ; but he recognised in this very humility 
the charter of the soul, and even where he assigned an imperious 
power to the authority of the Church, he only did so in the end 
in order to give the individual soul an assurance which it could 
not attain by any exertion, or any individual act of pardon. 
Therefore, he became not only a pedagogue and teacher, but a 
Father of the Church. He was a tree, planted by the waters, 
whose leaves do not fade, and on whose branches the birds of 
the air dwell. His voice has pealed forth to the Church through 


the centuries, and he preached to Christendom the words 
" Blessed is the man whose strength Thou art ; in whose heart 
are Thy ways." • 

We do not require to prove that, for a man with such a per- 
sonality, all that tradition offered him could only serve as 
material and means^ that he only accepted it in order to work it 
into the shape that suited him. In this respect Augustine was 
akin to the great Alexandrians, and plenty of evidence can be 
adduced in support of this affinity, which was conditioned on 
both sides by the same loftiness of soul, as well as by dependence 
on Neoplatonic philosophy. But in spite of all they possessed 
in common, the distinction between them was extremely signi- 
ficant It did not consist merely in the fact that while the former 
lived about A.D. 200, Augustine was a member of the Theodosian 
imperial Church, nor that he had passed through Manichaeism, 
but it was due in a much greater degree to his having, in spite 
of his Neoplatonism, a different conception of the nature of the 
Christian religion, and also other ideas about the nature and 
authority of the Church. 

I. He thought of sin, when he reflected on God and Christ, 
and he thought oith^ living God, who has created and redeemed 
us, when he reflected on evil : the steadfastness with which he 
referred these factors to each other was the novel feature which 
distinguished him above all his predecessors. But not less novel 
was the energy with which he combined the* categories God, 
Christ, the word of God, the sacraments, and the Catholic Church 
/or practical piety, compressing what was fullest of life and 
freest, the possession of God, into, as it were, an objective pro- 
perty, which was transferred to an institution, the Church. As 
he accordingly begot the feeling that Christian piety was grief 
of soul comforted, so, on the other hand, he created that inter- 
weaving, characteristic of Western Catholicism, of the freest, 
most personal surrender to the divine, with constant submission 
to the Church as an institution in possession of the means of 

According to this he is, in the first place, to be estimated, even 


for the history of dogma, not as a theologian, but as a reformer 
of Christian piety. The characteristic feature of the old Chris- 
tian piety was its vacillation between hope and fear (TertulL, De 
uxor. II., 2 : " Fear is the foundation of salvation, confidence is 
the barrier against fear " : timor fundatnentum salutis est^ prce- 
sumptio impedimentum timoris), ^ It was known that Jesus ac- 
cepted sinners ; but in that case men were accepted through 
baptism. The action of God was, as it were, exhausted.* The 
whole Dogmatic (Trinity, Christology, etc.) had its practical 
culmination, and therewith its end, in the merely retrosf>ective 
blessing received in baptism. What next? Men feared the 
judge, and hoped in an uncertain fashion for a still existent 
grace. The fear of the judge led to fasting, almsgiving, and 
prayer, and the uncertain hope groped after new means of grace. 
Men wavered between reliance on their own powers and hope in 
the inexhaustibility of Christ's grace. But did they not possess 
faith ? They did, and prized it as a lofty possession ; but they 
valued it as a condition, as an indispensable card of admission. In 
order actually to enter, there were other and wholly different 
conditions to be fulfilled. Piety y wheti it concerned itself with the 
task of the present, did not live in faith. The psychological form 
of piety was unrest^ i,e,, fear and hope.* Reliance was placed on 
free-will ; but what was to be done if it led to one defeat after 
another? Repentance and amendment were required. No 
doubt was felt that repentance was sufficient wherever sins 
** against our neighbour " were in question, and where the injury 
could be made good. Repentance and compensation had the 
widest possible scope in relation to sin. Sin consisted in evil 
action ; the good action united with repentance balanced it. 
One's neighbour could forgive the offence committed against 

1 In what follows the fundamental tendency is alone characterised. It is not to be 
denied that in some cases evangelical features were more marked. 

2 After the exposition given in Vols. I.-IV., and the indications in Chap. II. of this 
voL, I need not adduce further evidence that for the ancient Church the grace of God 
in Christ was exhausted in the gifts received in baptism. All other grace, which 
was hoped for, was beset with uncertainty. 

« Read the striking avowals of II. Clement, the Shepherd of Hennas, TcrtuUian, 
the confessions of monks, and of the great theologians of the fourth century who were 
prevented by circumstances from becoming monks. 


him, and the sin no longer existed ; the Church could forgive 
what affected its constitution, and guilt was effaced. 

But he who was baptised sinned also " against God.** However 
widely the Church might extend the circle of sins in which she 
was the injured party, the judge, and the possessor of the right 
to pardon, there were sins against God, and there were trans- 
gressions which could not be made good. Who could cancel 
murder and adultery, or a misspent life on the part of the bap- 
tised ? Perhaps even these sins were not in such evil case ; per- 
haps God did not impute them to the baptised at all — though 
that would be an Epicurean error ; perhaps the power of the 
Church did not break on the rock of accomplished fd^cts \ perhaps 
there were other means of grace besides baptism. But who could 
know this? The Church created a kind of sacrament of penance 
in the third and fourth centuries ; but it did not say clearly what 
was to be expected of this sacrament Did it reconcile with 
the Church or with God ; did it do away with sin, guilt, or 
punishment; was it effective through the penances of the peni- 
tent, or through the power of grace ? ^ Was it necessary ? Was 
there in that case a sinful state, one that lasted, when the dis- 
position had changed, when the will strove with all its powers 
after the good ? Was there such a thing as guilt ? Was not 
everything which man could do in accordance with his nature 
involved in the eternal alternation marked by good and evil 
actions, by knowledge, repentance, and striving? Knowledge 
and action decide. The man of to-day, who does the good, has 
no longer anything in common with the man of yesterday who 
did evil. But sins against God persisted in troubling them. 
Whence came fear, lasting fear? The Church threw its doors 
wider and wider ; it forgave sin, all sin ; but the earnest fled 
into the desert There they tried to succeed by precisely the 
same means they had used in the world, and their mood 
remained the same — one of hope and fear. There was no con- 
solation which was not confronted by a three-fold horror. 

iRothe says very truly, Kirchcngesch., II., p. 33: **Men secretly distrusted in- 
evitably the presupposed purely supernatural and accordingly magical operation of 
God's grace, and they therefore arranged their plans on the eventuality that in the 
end everything might still require to be done by man alone." 


That was the temper of the ancient Christians from the day 
when we can first observe them in the wide framework of the 
Roman*Empire until the epoch with whose dawn we are here 
concerned. The " evangelical " ideas which are sometimes 
formed of the nature of their piety are not at all appropriate. 
The two most restless elements which can agitate a human 
breast, hope and fear, ruled over those Christians. These 
elements shattered the world and built the Church. Men, in- 
deed, had a faith, and created a dogmatic for themselves ; but 
these were insufficient to satisfy them regarding their daily life, 
or any life. They gave wings to hope, but they did not eradi- 
cate fear. They did not tell what the sins were with which the 
Christian daily fights, and what Christ had done for these sins. 
They left those questions to the individual conscience, and the 
answers given in ecclesiastical practice were not answers to 
soothe the heart. The only sure issue of the whole system of 
dogmatics was in the benefits of baptism. He who rose from 
the font had henceforth to go his way alone. If he reflected 
earnestly he could not doubt that all the Church could after- 
wards give him was a set of crutches. 

" Against Thee only have I sinned." " Thou, Lord, hast 
made us for Thyself, and our heart is restless, until it finds rest 
in Thee/' " Grant what Thou dost command, and command 
what Thou dost desire" fda quod jubes, et jube quod vis).^ 
" The just hy faith will live." ** No one enjoys what he knows, 
unless he also loves it, nor does anyone abide in that v^hich he 
perceives unless by love " (eo quod quisquc novit, non fruitur, 
nisi et id diligit, neque quisquam in eo quod percipit permanet 
nisi dilectione).* These are the new tones sounded by 
Augustine, that is the mighty chord which he produced from 
Holy Scripture, from the most profound observations of human 
nature, and speculations concerning the first and last things. 
Everything in the mind that was without God was absolutely 
sinful ; the only good thing left to it was that it existed. Sin 

^ De pecc mer. et remiss., XL, 5 ; De spiritu et lit., 22; see Confessions, X, 40, and 
Dc dono persever., 53. The substance is given already in Soliloq., I., 5 : "Jube 
quaeso atque impera quidquid vis, sed sana et aperi aures meas." Enchir., 117, 
** Fides impetrat quod lex imperat.'^ 
De fide et symb., 19, 


was the sphere and form of the inner life of every natural man. 
It had been maintained in all theological systems from Paul to 
Origen, and later, that a great revolt lay at the root of the 
present state of the human race. But Augustine was the first 
to base all religious feeling and all theological thought on this 
revolt as still existent and damning in every natural man. The 
Apologists regarded the revolt as an uncertain datum ; Origen 
looked upon it as a premundane fatality. To Augustine it was 
the most vital fact of the present, one which, at work from the 
beginning, determined the life of the individual and of the 
whole race. Further, all-in was ^in n^nhi^t ^n/i ; Jnr^the 
created spirit had only one lasting relationship, that to God. 
Sin was self-will, the proud striving of the heart (superbia); 
tljerefore it . took the form of desire and unrest In this 
unrest, lust^ nfiyer-quieted, and Tear revealed themselves. Fear 
was evil ; but in this "unrest there was also revealed the in- 
alienable goodness of the spirit that has come from the hand 
of God : " We wish to be happy, and wish not to be unhappy, 
but neither can we will."^ We cannot but strive after blessings, 
after happiness. But there is only one good, one happiness, 
and one rest. '* It is a good thing that I should cling to God." 
All is included in that. Only in God as its element does the 
soul live. "^ Oh ! who will give me to repose in Thee ? Oh ! 
that Thou wouldest enter into my heart, and inebriate it, that I 
may forget my ills, and embrace Thee, my only good I What 
art Thou to me ? Of Thy mercy teach me to declare it. What 
am I to Thee that Thou demandest my love, and if I give it 
not, art angry with me, and threatenest me with grievous 
miseries ? . . . For Thy mercies* sake tell me, O Lord my God, 
what Thou art to me. Say unto my soul : * / am thy salvation' 
Say it so, that I may hear. Behold, Lord, the ears of my 
heart are before Thee ; open Thou them, and say to my soul : 
/ am thy salvation, I will run after this voice, and take hold on 
Thee. Hide not Thy face from me ; let me die seeing it — 

1 De Trinit., XIII., 4 : " Felices esse volumus et infelices esse nolumas, sed nee 
velle possumas." De civit. dei, XL, 26 : **Tam porro nemo est qui esse se nolit, 
quam nemo est qui non esse beatus velit Quo modo enim potest beatus esse, si 
nihil sit?" 


only let me see it Narrow is the tenement of my soul ; en- 
large Thou it, that it may be able to receive Thee, It is ruin- 
ous; repair Thou it Within, it has these things that must 
offend Thine eyes ; I confess and know ; but who will cleanse 
it ? or to whom shall I cry save Thee ? " ^ 

The same God who created us has redeemed us through Jesus 
Christ That simply means that he has restored us to com- 
munion with himself. This takes place through grace and love, 
and in turn through faith and love. Through grace which lays 
hold of us and makes the unwilling willing (ex nolentibus 
volentes), which gives us an incomprehensibly new nature by 
imparting a new birth ; and through love, which strengthens the 
weak spirit, and inspires it with powers of goodness. Through 
faith which holds to the saying, " He who is just by faith will 
live," "which was written and confirmed by the all-powerful 
authority of apostolic teaching " (quod scriptum est et apostolicae 
disciplines robustissima auctoritate firmatum) ; and through love, 
which humbly renounces all that is its own and longs for God 
and his law. Faith and love spring from God ; for they are 
the means by which the living God enables us to appropriate 
him. The soul regards those possessions, in which it has 
obtained all that God requires of us, as an everlasting gift and a 
sacred mystery ; for a heart equipped with faith and love fulfils 
the righteousness that is accepted by God. The peace of God 
is shed upon the soul which has the living God for its friend ; 
it has risen from unrest to rest, from seeking to finding, from 
the false freedom to the free necessity, from fear to love ; for 
perfect love casts out fear. It cannot for a moment forget that 
it is entangled in worldliness and sin, as long as it lives in this 

1 Confess., I., 5 : Quis mihi dabit acquie^^cere in te? Quis mihi dabit ut venias in 
cor meum et inebries illud, ut obliviscar mala mea et unum bonum amplectar te ? 
Qnid mihi es ? Miserere, ut loquar. Quid tibi sum ipse, ut amari te jubeas a me, 
et nisi fadam irascaris mihi et mineris ingentes miserias ? . . . Die mihi per misera- 
tiones tuas, doroine deus meus, quid sis mihi. Dk animse mese : Solus tua ego sum. 
Sic die, ut audiam. Ecce aures cordis mei ante te, domine ; aperi eas, et die animsa 
mese : Solus tua ego sum, Curram post vocem banc et apprehendam te. Noli 
abscondere a me faciem tuam ; moriar ne moriar, ut earn videam. Angusta est 
domus animse mese quo venias ad eam ; dilatetur abs te. Ruinosa est ; refice earn. 
Habet quae offendant oculos tuos ; fateor et scio ; sed quis mundabit eam ? aut cui 
alteri praeter te daroabo ? 


world ; but it does not let its thoughts rest for a moment on 
sin, without remembering the living God who is its strength. 
The misery of sin overcome hy faiths humility and love — that is 
Christian piety. In this temper the Christian was to live. He 
was constantly to feel the pain caused by sin, separation from 
God ; but he was at the same time to console himself with the 
conviction that the grace of God had taken possession of him, 
that the Lord of heaven and earth had instilled His love into 
his heart, and that this love worked as mightily after as in 
baptism.^ Thus Augustine dethroned the traditional feelings of 
the baptised, fear and hope, the elements of unrest, and substi- 
tuted the elements of rest, faith, and love. For an uncertain 
and vacillating notion of sin he substituted the perception of its 
power and horror, for a still uncertain notion of grace he substi- 
tuted the perception of its omnipotence. He did not abolish 
hope, he rather confirmed with all his power the old feeling that 
this life is not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to 
be revealed. But in realising and preaching the rest bestowed 
by faith and love, he transformed the stormy and fanatical 
power of hope into a gentle and sure conviction.* 

I have here reproduced Augustine's teaching, as we find it 
chiefly in his Confessions. This book has the advantage of 
giving us an account which is not influenced by any particular 
aims. Our exposition is by no means complete ; we should 
require to add more than one caution, in order to be perfectly 
just® Further, the description has intentionally only considered 
the fundamental lines, and given expression to but one direction 
in which the epoch-making importance of Augustine comes to 
the front But there can be no doubt that it is the most decisive. 
If we Western Christians are shut up to the conviction that 
religion moves between the poles of sin and grace — nature and 
grace ; if we subordinate morality to faith, in so far as we reject 

1 Enchir., 64: "Excepto baptismatis munere ipsa eiiam vita cetera, quantalibet 
pnepolleat foecunditate justitise, sine peccatorum remissione non agitur." 

s We will afterwards discuss how far Augustine failed to surmount this uncertainty 
and unrest, owing to the reception of popular Catholic elements into his piety. 

3 The mo^t im|X)rtant caution — that Augustine fitted his new form of feeling and 
reflection into the old — will be discussed later on ; it has been only mildly suggested 
in the above exposition. 


the thought of an independent morality, one indifferent to 
religion ; if we believe that it is necessary to pay much greater 
heed to the essence of sin than to the forms in which it is 
manifested — fixing our attention on its roots, not on its degrees? 
or on sinful actions ; if we are convinced that universal sinfulness 
is the presupposition of religion ; if we expect nothing from our 
own powers ; if we comprise all means of salvation in the 
thought of God's grace and of faith ; if the preaching of faith 
and the love of God is substituted for that of fear, repentance, 
and hope ; ^ if, finally, we distinguish between law and gospel, 
gifts and tasks appointed by God — then we feel with the 
emotions, think in the thoughts, and speak with the words of 

Who can deny that in this way religion disclosed deeper 
truths to feeling and thought, that the disease was recognised 
more surely, and the means of healing were demonstrated more 
reliably ? Who can mistake the gain in laying bare the living 
heart, the need of the soul, the living God, the peace that exists 
in the disposition to trust and love ? Even if he merely seeks 
to study these phenomena as a disinterested " historian of cul- 
ture," who can escape the impression that we have here an 
advance, at least in psychological knowledge, that can never 

1 1 need hardly gaard against the misapprehension that I represent faith as not 
having been of fundamental importance to the Pre-Augustinian and Greek Church. 
The question here is as to the feeling and disposition of the Christian. The Pre- 
Augustinian Christian regarded faith as the self-evident presupposition of the righteous- 
ness which he had to gain by his own efforts. 

* It need not be objected that this is the doctrine of Scripture. In the first place, 
Scripture has no homogeneous doctrine ; secondly, even Paul's range of thought, to 
which Augustine's here most closely approximates, does not perfectly coincide with 
it. But we must undoubtedly recognise that the Augustinian reformation was quite 
essentially a Pauline reaction against the prevailing piety. Augustine, to some ex- 
tent, appears as a second Marcion, see Vol. I., p. 136, Reuter, August. Studien, p. 
492 : '* We can perhaps say that Paulinism, which the growing Catholic Church only 
half-learned to understand, which Marcion attempted to open up in an eccentric one- 
sidedness that the Church, in its opposition to him, had all but rejected, was exploited 
by our Church Father for the second time, in such a way, that much hitherto belong- 
ing to popular Catholicism was remodelled." This is followed by a parallel between 
Augustine and Marcion. The triad " Faith, Love, and Hope," is Pauline, and occurs 
in almost all Church Fathers ; but Augustine first made it fruitful again (perhaps he 
learned here from Jovinian). 


again be lost ? In fact, history seems to teach that the gain can 
never perish within the Christian Church ; nay, it attests more> 
it would appear, than this : it tells us that a limit has been 
reached, beyond which the pious mood cannot receive a further 
development. If we review all the men and women of the 
West since Augustine's time, whom, for the disposition that 
possessed them, history has designated as prominent Christians^ 
we have always the same type ; we find marked conviction of 
sin, complete renunciation of their own strength, and trust in 
grace, in the personal God who is apprehended as the Merciful 
One in the humility of Christ. The variations of this frame of 
mind are indeed numerous — we will speak of these later on ; 
but the fundamental type is the same. And this frame of mind 
is taught in sermons and in instruction by truly pious Catholics 
and Evangelicals ; to it youthful Christians are trained, and 
dogmatics are framed in harmony with it It always produces 
so powerful an effect, even where it is only preached as the ex- 
perience of others, that he who has once come in contact with 
it can never forget it ; it accompanies him as a shadow by day 
and as a light in the dark ; he who imagines that he has long 
shaken it off sees it rising up suddenly before him again. 
Since the days of Leibnitz, indeed, and the " Illumination," a 
powerful opponent has grown up, an enemy that seemed to 
have mastered it during a whole century, that reduced the 
Christian religion, when it gave any countenance to it at all,, 
once more to energetic action, and furnished it with the foil 
of a cheerful optimism, a mode of thought which removed the 
living God afar off, and subordinated the religious to the moral. 
But this opponent succumbed in our century, at least, within 
the Churches, before the power of the old frame of mind. 
Whether this triumph of Augustine is guaranteed to last, none 
but a prophet could tell. It is only certain that the constella- 
tion of circumstances in the fray has been favourable to the 

On the part of the Church no doubt prevails that the 
Augustinian feeling and type of thought are alone legitimate in 
Christianity, that they are alone Christian ; for the conception 
of redemption (by God himselO, in the sense of regeneration^ 


dominates everything. But we cannot fail to be puzzled when 
we consider that it cannot by any means be directly deduced 
from the surest words of Jesus, and that the ancient and Greek 
Church was ignorant of it. Further, we cannot but be doubtful 
when we weigh its consequences ; for their testimony is not all 
favourable. A quietistic^ I might almost say a narcotic, element 
is contained in it, or is, at least, imperceptibly associated with 
it. There is something latent in it which seems to enervate the 
vital energies, to hinder the exertion of the will, and to substi- 
tute feelings for action. Is there no danger in substituting a 
general consciousness of sin for evident evil tendencies, heartless 
words and shameful deeds ? ^ Is it safe to rely on the uniform 
operation of Grace, when we are called to be perfect and holy 
like God ? Are all the energies of the Will actually set free, 
where the soul lives constantly in the mood shown in the 
" Confessions " ? Are fear and hope really phases, necessarily 
to be superseded by faith and love ? Perhaps it is correct to 
answer all these questions in accordance with the type of 
thought here considered ; but even then a doubt remains. 
Is it advisable — apart from the variety in men's temperaments 
— to present this ideal as the aim at all stages of spiritual 
development ? Here, at least, the answer cannot be doubtful. 
That which is the last stage reached by the advanced Christian 
who has passed through a rich experience is a refinement to him 
who is in process of development. But a refined piety or 
morality is always pernicious ; for it no longer starts at the 
point of duty and conscience. It deceives regarding our need 
and its satisfaction. And since it is strong enough to fascinate, 
and can also be comprehended as a doctrine by an intelligence 
that is far from advanced, in order, once comprehended, never 
to pass away again, so it can become dangerous to morality, and 
therefore also to piety. For, after all, in both these spheres, 

1 1 say nothing of Uie arrogant habit of those who, because they agree with the 
Aagustinian doctrine, not only openly credit themselves with possessing " positive " 
Christianity, but also denounce their opponents as ** half-believers." For this non- 
sense Augustine b not lesponsible, and it only made its appearance in the nineteenth 
century. It is only in our days that evangelical Christendom has permitted itself to 
be terrorised by people who bear the deeper '* knowledge of sin " as a motto, and 
with this shield guard themselves against the coimsel to be ju^t and modest. 


that only has any value which heightens the power to be and 
do good ; everything else is a poisonous fog. Perhaps, if we 
consider the matter fairly, no feeling or mood, and no theory of 
the factors in the religious process, are alone I^itimate. As 
man requires sleep and wakefulness, so also he must, if he is to 
preserve his moral and religious life in health, alternate between 
the sense of his freedom and power and that of his bondage and 
helplessness, between the sense of full moral responsibility and 
the conviction that he is a favoured child of God. Or is there a 
way of so grasping Augustine's type of feeling and thought, 
that it may fashion faith into the strongest lever of moral 
energy and action ? Are not the difficulties that rise against his 
type of piety due perhaps just to his not having developed it forcibly 
and absolutely enough ? . 

This question will obtain its answer later on. Here we have 
to point out that the dissemination of the religious views, 
peculiar to Augustine, was not in every respect beneficial. 
They constituted his greatness ; they conducted him to the 
wonderful path he trod ; they led him to conceive redemption 
no longer as a solitary intervention, by means of baptism, in 
the course of human life, but as the element in which the soul 
lived — baptismal grace being therefore a continuously operative 
force. " Personal characteristics " lie beyond the sphere of 
errors and truths ; they may be erroneous, looked at from with- 
out, true from within. They may for that very reason be even 
hurtful as influences^ for "when they introduce disproportion- 
ately what is foreign, the question arises, how these adventitious 
peculiarities harmonise with those that are native to the soul, 
and whether by the very act of mingling they do not produce a 
sickly condition." ^ Nevertheless, there can be no doubt that 
Augustine submitted the traditional religious feeling to as 
thorough-going a revision as is conceivable, and even he who is 
not in a position to praise it unreservedly will not seek to. 
minimise its benefits.^ 

1 Compare Goethe in his wonderful reflections on Steme, Werke (Hempel's Ed.), 
Vol. XXIX., p. 749 f. 

* Augustine's Exposition of the Church I neither count one of his greater achieve- 
ments, nor can I hold it to be the central idea which determines what is essential to him. 


II. No one was further than Augustine from intending to 
correct the tradition of the Church. If he has done this so 
emphatically, he was himself merely actuated by the feeling 
that he was thus assimilating more and more thoroughly the 
faith of the Church. Having forced his way through scepticism 
to the truth of the Catholic Church, he regarded the latter as 
the rock on which his faith was founded. We should misunder- 
stand him were we to blink this fact. He rather sets us reflect- 
ing how it was possible for the most vital piety to have a double 
ground of conviction, inner experience, and external, nay, ex- 
tremely external, attestation. We can make a still stronger 
assertion. Augustine first transformed the authority of the 
Church into a factor in religion; he first expressed pious con* 
templation, the view of God and self, in such a way that the 
religious man always found the authority of the Church side by 
side with sin and grace.^ Paul and post-apostolic teachers, 
especially Tertullian, had, indeed, already introduced the Church 
into the religious relationship itself;* but they were not think- 
ing of its authority. 

When we fix our attention on Augustine's distinctive type 
of Christian piety as the foundation of his significance for 
Church and dogmatic history, we must not only consider the 
decisive tendency of his doctrine of sin and grace, but we must 
also review his reception and characteristic revision of traditional 
elements. For from these his piety, /.^., his sense of God, and 
sin and grace, obtained the form which is familiar to us as 
specifically Catholic. In addition to (i) the above-mentioned 
element of the authority of the Church, there are, if my view is 

iReuter says excellently (I.e., p. 494) : " Many phases of the hitherto traditional 
and authoritative doctrine were transformed by him into really religious factors ; he 
effected a revolution in the religious consciousness in those circles in and upon which 
be worked, yet without seeking to endanger its Catholicity." Cf., also p. 102 (71- 
98) : " Much, but very far from all, that belonged to popular Catholicism was 
revised by Augustine." 

s See De bapt., 6 : " Cum antem sub tribus et testatio fidei et sponsio salutis pig- 
nerentur, necessario adicitur ecclesise mentio, quoniam ubi tres, id est paler et filius 
et spiritus sanctus, ibi ecclesia, qwe trium corpus est." De orat., 2 : *' Pater . . . 
filius . . . ne mater quidam ecclesia praeteritur. Si quidem in filio et patre mater 
recognoscitur, dequa constat et patris et filii nomen." De monog., 7 : '* Vivit enim 
tinicus pater noster et mater ecclesia." All this is based on the Symbol. 


correct, other three ; (2) tJie confusion of personal relationship to 
\/ God with a sacramental communication of grace ; (3) uncertainty 
as to the nature of faith and the forgiveness of sins ; (4) un- 
certainty as to the significance of the present life. Even in the 
way he felt and wrote about these things he created new states 
of feeling ; but they appear merely to be modifications of the 
old ; or, rather, he first enabled the old moods fully to under- 
stand themselves, in other words, enriched them from the dead 
material which they brought with them. This exerted in turn a 
very strong influence on the fundamental feeling. — the sense of 
sin and grace, and first gave it the form which enabled it to 
take possession of souls, without creating a revolution, or pro- 
ducing a violent breach with tradition. 

In the sequel we only discuss the fundamental features of 
these four elements. ^ 

I. Augustine introduced the authority of the Church as a 
religious factor for two reasons. Like the thought of redemp- 
tion, the significance of the Church seems, on a superficial ex- 
amination, to have received so sovereigfn and fixed an impress in 
the conception formed by the ancient Catholic and Greek 
Fathers, that any further accentuation of it is impossible. But, 
if we look more closely, redemption was presented as a solitary 

^ We don't need now to say for the first time that Augustine was as closely as pos- 
sible united to the past of the Church in all else (Scripture, doctrinal confession, etc). 
Besides this, he shared with his contemporaries in the conception of the Church's 
science in its relation to faith, and had on many points as naive ideas as they of the 
limits and scope of knowledge. If he possessed the faculty of psychological observa- 
tion in a much higher degree than his predecessors, he retained the absolute type of 
thought, and, with all the sceptical reserve which he practised in single questions, he 
further developed that conglomerate of cosmology, ethics, mythology, and rationalism, 
which was then called science. So also he was implicated in all the prejudices of 
contemporary exegesis. It is to be added, finally, .hat, although less credulous than 
his contemporaries, he was, like Origen, involved in the prejudices, the mania for 
miracles, and the superstition of the age. His works, sober in comparison with many- 
other elaborations of the epoch, are yet full of miracles. A slave learns to read in 
answer to prayer, in three days, and without human help ; and we have divine judg> 
ments, miracle-working relics, etc. He certainly made the absurd indispensable tu 
the Church. Since Augustine's time there are wholly absurd Church doctrines, whose 
abandonment would not lie without danger, because they have excited, or at least 
have supported, like the vine-pole, the virtues of conscientiousness, strictness in self- 
examination, and tenderness of soul (see, e,g,^ his doctrine of original sin). But like 
all absurdities, they have also excited blind ^aticism and fearful despair. 


intervention, and the significance of the Church was exhausted 
in the fact that, while it was the presupposition of Christian life 
and the guarantee of Christian truth, it did not enter into the 
separate acts in which the religious and moral life ran its 
spiritual course. Here also Rothe's saying is true that Chris- 
tians tacitly ^* laid their plans to meet the chance that in the end 
everything might require to be done by men alone." These 
" plans " were based since the days of the Apologists on the 
optimistic conception of the inalienable goodness of human 
nature, and the demonstrability (clearness and intelligibility) of 
the Christian religion. The course of a spontaneously moral life 
was ultimately modified, neither by the doctrine of redemption 
nor by that of the Church. 

In both these respects Augustine's experience had led to 
wholly different conclusions. His conflict with himself had con- 
vinced him of the badness of human nature, and Manichisism 
had left him in complete doubt as to the foundations and truth of 
the Christian faith.'^ His confidence in the rationality of 
Christian truth had been shaken to the very depths, and it was 
never restored. In other words, as an individual thinker he 
never gained the subjective certitude that Christian truth 
and as such everything contained in the two Testaments 
had to be regarded, was clear, consistent, and demon- 
strable.* When he threw himself into the arms of the Catholic 
Church, he was perfectly conscious that he needed its 

1 See Reuter, l.c. p. 490 f. 

9 The few tendencies to this conception, which are also found in his works, are 
always combined with that neutralising of the historical displayed by the Apologists. 
We cannot here discuss more fully this undercurrent in his writings. But it is im- 
portant to show clearly the main current, namely, that scholars were by no means con- 
fident of the rationality of the G&tholic faith. The attacks made by heathens and 
Manicbaeans had shaken them. Some speak, partly with self-satisfaction, partly with 
pain, of " modem " doubts of the &iih of the Church. Bat these doubts are so far 
from modem that the creation of the Augustinian and mediaeval authority of the 
Church is their work. That ecclesiasticism is so powerful, nay, has become a dog- 
matic quantity, is due to the defective morality of Christians in the second and third 
centuries, and to their defective falxh in the fourth and fifth. The distinction between 
Justin and Augustine is in this respect much greater than that between Augustine and 
a Christian of the sixteentti or nineteenth centuries. 


\jauthority, not to sink in scepticism or nihilism.^ For example, 
nothing but the authority of the Church could remove the 
stumbling-blocks in the Old Testament. The thousand doubts 
excited by theology, and especially Christology, could only be 
allayed by the Church. As regards the former case, allegorical 

^ -^ ' .- interpretation, of course, helped to get one over the difficulties ; 

'' . "- ^ but it (as contrasted with the literal which solves everything) 
did not justify itself; the Church alone gave the right to apply 
it. T/te Church guaranteed the truth of the faithy where the indi- 
vidual could not perceive it ; that is the new thought whose open 
declaration proves the thinker's scepticism, as well as the man's 
love of truth. He would not impose upon himself; he would 
not become the sophist of his faith. Openly he proclaimed it : 
y I believe in many articles only on the Church's authority ; 
^ nay, I believe in the Gospel itself merely on the same ground.^ 
Thereby the Church had gained an enormous importance, an 
importance which it was henceforth to retain in Western 
Catholicism ; upon it, an entity above all incomprehensible — 
for what and where is the Church ? — a great part of the respon- 
sibility was rolled, which had hitherto to be borne by the 
individual. Thus henceforth the Church had its part in every 
act of faith. By this, however, a vast revolution was brought 
about in the relation to the " faith which is believed " (fides 
quae credit ur). Acts of faith were, at the same time, acts of 
obedience. The difficulties were recognised which the Alex- 
andrians overcame by distinguishing between exoteric and 

1 See the middle Books of the Confessions, e.g., VI., ii : " Scripturae sanctse, quas 
ecclesire cathoHcse cotnmendat auctoritas." VI., 7 : *' Libris tuis, quos tanta in 
omnibus fere gentibus auctoritate fiindasti. . . . Non audiendos esse, si qui forte 
mihi dicerent ; unde scis illos liliros unius veri et veracissimi dei spiritu esse humane 
generi ministratos ? idipsumenim maxime craUndum erat," VI., 8 : ** Ideoquecom 
essemus infirmi ad inveniendam liquida ratione veritatem, et ob hoc nobis opus esset 
auctoritate sanctanim litteraruni, jam credere coeperam nullo modo te fuisse tributu- 
rum tarn excellentem illi scripturse per omnes jam terras auctoritatem, nisi et per 
ipsam tibi credi et per ipsam te quaeri voluisses. Jam enim absuiditatem quae me in 
illis litteris solebat offendere, cum multa ex eis probabiliter exposita audissem, ad 
sacramentorum altitudinem referebam. '' See also the treatise De utilit. credendi, and, 
in general, the writings against Manichseism. 

« Contra Ep. Manichsei, 5 : ** Ego vero evangelio non crederem, nisi me cathnlicae 
(ecclesiae) commoveret auctoritas." Innumerable parallels exist, espectaliy in the 
writings against Manichaeism, but also elsewhere. 


esoteric religion, but this distinction was itself rejected. In its 
place was now openly proclaimed what had long — especially in 
the West (see ch. I., Scripture and Dogma as Law) — been 
secretly the expedient of thousands : partial renunciation of in- L 
dependent faith, and the substitution for it of obedience. It is 
obvious that thus a great body of dogmas, or of the contents of 
Scripture, was placed beyond the reach of the believing subject, 
that a wholly different relation to them was introduced, that, in 
a word, the doctrines of Scripture and the Church obtained a 
new meaning. Augustine was the father of the conception of 
implicit faith (iides implicita), by associating with the individual 
believer the Church, with which he believes and which believes 
for him, in as far as it takes the place for him in many points of 
a psychological element of faith, namely, inner conviction. In 
openly proclaiming this conception, which, as has been said, 
already lurked in darkness, Augustine, on the one hand, dis- 
burdened individual faith, and directed it more energetically to 
those spheres in which it could rest without difficulties, but, on 
the other hand, introduced all the evil consequences which 
spring from faith in authority.^ 

However, this championship of faith in authority had an addi- 
tional root, in the case of Augustine, besides scepticism. Tradi- 
tion and grace are connected by secret ties. A genius, who was 
never a sceptic, and who was therefore never possessed by a 
mania for authority, has confessed : " The dew in which I bathe 
and find health is tradition, is grace." Augustine was also led, 
both as a psychologist and a Christian of living faith, to tradi- 
tion and therewith to the Church. In breaking with moralism, 
he broke too with the individualism and atomism of the ancient 
school The "mass of perdition" (massa perditionis) was 
always confronted for him by grace (gratia) as a force working 
in history, I will not here yet go into his notion of the Church ; 
it is certain that he possessed a lively sense that all great bene- 

1 Reuter, who by no means over- values the importance of the idea of the Church in 
Augustine, declares (p. 499) : " By Augustine the idea of the Church was rendered 
the central power in the religious state of mind and ecclesiastical activity of the 
West in a fashion unknown to the East." ** Central power" is almost saying too 
mncfa (see Theol. lit.— Zeit., 1887, No. 15). 




fits, even communion with God himself, were attached to 
historical tradition, and it is manifest that religious individualism, 
as developed by him, was paralleled by and compatible with a 
conception, according to which the individual was supported by 
other persons, and by forces in the direction of goodness which 
he received through a visible medium. Augustine concentrated 
this correct historical conception in the idea of the Church. It 
was to him the organism and — for the individual — ^the womb of 
grace ; it was further the communion of righteousness and love ; 
and he felt this significance of the Church in his most personal 
piety much more acutely than any one before him. 

But the sceptic who needs the authority of the Church, and 
the Christian of quick feeling and sure observation, who 
perceives and prizes the value of Church communion, do not part 
company. There has never yet existed in the world a strong 
religious faith, which has not appealed, at some decisive point or 
other, to an external authority. It is only in the colourless ex- 
positions of religious philosophers, or the polemical systems of 
Protestant theologians, that a faith is constructed which derives 
its certitude exclusively from its own inner impulses. These 
undoubtedly constitute ^<ftforu by which it exists and is pre- 
served. But are not conditions necessary, under which this force 
becomes operative ? Jesus Christ appealed to the authority of 
the Old Testament, ancient Christians to the evidence of pro- 
phecy, Augustine to the Church, and Luther himself to the 
written Word of God. Only academic speculation thinks that 
it can eliminate external authority ; life and history show that 
no faith is capable of convincing men or propagating itself, 
which does not include obedience to an external authority, or 
fails to be convinced of its absolute power. The only point is 
to determine the rightful authority, and to discover the just 
relationship between external and internal authority. Were it 
otherwise, we should not be weak, helpless beings. We cannot 
think too highly of the nobility of human talents; but they are not 
lofty enough to enable men so to appropriate the sum of all the 
ideal elements which compose the inner life, that these simply 
grow with the growth of the soul, or become its product 
Above all, the thought of God, the thought of the love of God, 


can never receive an irrefragable certainty, without being sup- 
ported by an external authority. It is not a false view of 
religion that the restless quest of the soul only ceases when 
there has dawned upon it an authority whose validity is inde- 
pendent of the degree of strength with which its justification is 
felt within the breast} 

All this Augustine perceived and expressed. Therefore " the 
traditional, exclusively authoritative doctrine" of the Church 
was transformed by him into a conception, according to which 
the Church is a religious factor. By this, however, the distinc- 
tive character of piety itself received a new definition.* 

2. The .perception that religion is the possession of the living 
God^ a personal relationship between the soul and God, is con- 
spicuous in Augustine's Confessions, but also in other writings 
by him. That nothing but God himself could give the soul 
rest and peace is the fundamental note of the Confessions : 
•' Say unto my soul : I am thy salvation." His great place in 

^ This argament has been very iMidly received by some critics, but I find nothing to 
<:hange in it. Perhaps it will help to its being understood if I add that the spiritual 
man is directly conscious of the Divine Spirit as his Lord — who constrains him to 
obedience, even where he himself does not perceive the inner authority — but the non- 
spiritual require some sort of intervening authority, whether consisting in persons, or a 
book, or Church. But in both cases we are dealing with a controlling power, whose 
authority rises above one*s own individuality and knowledge. I hope that in disclos- 
ing this state of the case I am safe from being (wrongly) understood to draw a fixed 
line between the spiritual and non-spiritual. Throughout it is only a question of the 
proportion in wkich the apocalyptic and mediated elements appear and are connected 
in personal religion. Even the spiritual man who holds direct communion with God 
has, as history shows, extremely seldom, perhaps never entirely, freed himself from 
aU intermediate authority ; on the contrary, he has clung to it firmly, in spite of his 
intercourse with the Deity. This is not the place to explain this phenomenon ; but 
personal religion is not shown to be valueless by its being proved that its authorities 
are not sound (against Baumann, Die Grundfrage der Religion, 1895, p. 21 f.). The 
important point is what the pious man has derived from his authorities. 

s It is only to a superficial observer that Eastern Christians seem to cling more 
strongly to the Church than Western. In the East the historical course of events 
welded ecclesiasticism and nationality into one, and the internal development made 
the caltus of the Church the chief matter. But what other r61e does the Church play 
in personal piety than being the scene of Christian life, the teacher of doctrine, and 
the administrator of the mysteries ? All these are, in fact, presupposed conditions ; 
in the West, on the contrary, the Church has thrust itself into all relations and points 
of contact of the pious soul to God and Christ, as far zs the Augustinian tradition is 


the history of piety is bound up with this perception, as we find 
it attached to Rom. VIII., 31-39. He is to be compared, in 
this also, to the great Alexandrians, especially Clement But 
as Augustine did not merely reach this conclusion by means of 
a laborious speculation, so it assumed a much more forcible and 
purer form in his life and works than in theirs.* 

But the sure application of what is simplest in dogma is ever 
the hardest thing. Augustine found himself confronted by a 
tradition which taught that men enjoyed intercourse with God 
through laws and communications of grace ; nay, the prevailing 
tradition was constantly in danger of reducing the latter to the 
former. In opposition to this, a great advance was at once 
made by insisting on the distinction between law and gospel, 
commands and grace. We now perceive that Augustine sub- 
stantially limited himself to this in his polemical dogmatic writ- 
ings. That is, he was not in a position to translate into his 
dogmatic theory the vital perception that God himself, as he 
appeared in Christ, was the possession of the soul. He substan- 
tially left standing the old scheme that God came to maris assist- 
ance^ like a benevolent judge with acts of pardon^ or like a 
physician with medicines. In other words, he gave the force of 
absolute conviction to what had been uncertain, vis,, that God 
operates continuously by a mysterious and omnipotent imparta- 
tion of grace, i,e,, by powers of grace.* Thus grace (gratia per 
Christum) preserved even with him an objective character, and 

1 Let anyone read attentively the Confessions 6. VII. and VIII., as also the writ- 
ings and epistles composed immediately after his conversion, and he will find that 
Augustine's Neoplatonism had undoubtedly a share in giving him this perception. 
But he was brought to it in a much higher degree by his inner experience, and the 
reading of Paul and the Psalms. The Psalmists' piety was revived in him (see esp. 
Confess., IX., 8-12). His style even was modelled on theirs. In Clement of Alex, 
and Origen, Neoplatonic speculation, on the contrary, prevailed. Even in the 
most glorioas of their expositions, in which the power of feeling is clearly conspicu- 
ous, we cannot forget the speculative path by which they thought they had attained 
to the possession of God. 

The final ground of this view with Augustine consists naturally in the hjcX, that he 
never wholly got rid of the old Catholic scheme that the ultimate concern of Christi- 
anity was to transform human nature physically and morally for eternal life. He 
took a great step forward ; but he was not able to give clear expression to the 
Pauline thought that the whole question turned on forgiveness of sins and sonship to 
God, or to frame all dogmatics in harmony with it. 

* "■ 


in his controversy with Donatists and Pelagians he completely 
developed this view of grace in connection with his doctrines of 
the Church and sacraments. He understood how to harmonise 
this, in his own feeling and self-criticism, with the conviction 
that the question involved was the possession of the living God. 
But as teacher of piety he did not succeed in doing so ; indeed, 
we can say that, just because he laid all emphasis on grace 
through Christ, while conceiving it to consist in portions or in- ^^/* 
stalments of grace, he was the means of establishing, along with ^^*' ^ 
the perception of its importance as beginning, middle, and end, 
the delusion that grace had an objective character. His age 
could understand, though with a great effort, his exposition of 
grace, as something imparted by the sacraments or the Church. 
// could bring that down to Us own level. The magical element \ 
which adhered to this conception, the external solidity which 
the notion of grace received in the sacrament, the apparent 
clearness of the view, the possibility of instituting theological 
computations with sin and grace — all these phases in the 
Augustinian doctrine of grace were greedily seized. Thus, in ^^*-^ ^^ 
making grace the foundation and centre of all Christian theo- /H'^*^ ' 
logical reflection, it was due to his way of thinking that the ^ ' ' :■ 
/living God and t\iQ personality of Christ lost ground in the con- 
f sciousness of the Church he influenced. The believer had to do 
with the inheritance left by Christ, with what he had gained, 
with his merit, but not with Christ himself. The love of God 
was instilled into the soul in portions ; but Augustine did not 
perceive that dogmatic was imperfect, nay, formed a hindrance 
to religion, as long as the supreme place was withheld from 
the principle : " Our heart is restless, until it rests in Thee^ 
The violent agitation which he had himself experienced, the 
crisis in which the sole question was whether he should or /) • * ' 
should not find God to be his God, he has extremely imper- ' 
fectly expressed in the dogmatic theory of .hrs_later period. He 
poured the new wine "into old bottles, and was thus partly to 
blame for the rise of that Catholic doctrine of grace, which is 
'perhaps the most dreadful part of Catholic dogmatics ; for " the 
corruption of the best is the worst " (corruptio optimi pessima). 
When a Roman Catholic dogmatist very recently called the 


doctrine of grace " thorny ground/' this description alone must 
have sufficed to show every common-sense Christian that the 
whole treatment of this main article had stumbled on a false 
path since the days of Augustine. Could there be a sadder ad- 
mission than this, that reflection on what God grants the soul 
in Christ leads us among nothing but thorns ? And could we 
conceive a greater contrast than that which exists between the 
sayings of Jesus and the Catholic doctrine of grace ? But Pro- 
testantism, in its actual form, need not boast of having sur- 
mounted this pernicious Catholic doctrine. As it rests on the 
Augustinian doctrine of grace in the good sense of the term, 
and is distinguished thereby as Western Christianity from 
\/ Eastern, it also bears the greatest part of the burden of this 
doctrine, and is therefore subject to the same dangers as 
Catholicism. It runs the risk of concealing the personal Christ 
by grace and the sacraments, of hedging in the living God 
through grace itself, and of setting up calculations about grace 
which make an account out of what is freest and holiest, and 
either dull the soul or leave it in unrest 

But as Augustine knew, for his part, by what his soul lived, 
and was able to testify to it in words that lived, and, indeed, in 
some of his discussions also doctrinally, he exerted a powerful 
influence in this respect, too, on posterity. He became the 
father not only of the Catholic doctrine of grace, but also of 
.that mystidsm which was naturalised in the Catholic Church, 
down to the Council of Trent, indeed, till the Jansenist contro- 
versy. In more than a hundred passages of his works, above 
all by his Christian personality, he incited men to gain a life 
with God, within which they apprehended the personal God in 
grace. We may here also recall his doctrine of predestination. 
One of its roots indisputably grew out of the thought of the 
supremacy of personal relationship to God. It was understood, 
too in this way, wherever it was the means in after-times of 
obviating the pernicious consequences of the Church doctrine of 
grace and sacraments. But there can undoubtedly be no mistake, 
that wherever Augustine threw into the background his question- 
able doctrine of grace, he at once also incurred the danger of neut- 
ralising Christ's general significance. According to him, Christ's 


work referred to, and exhausted itself in the forgiveness of sins. 
But, as we shall see in what immediately follows, forgiveness 
did not bestow all that the Christian requires for salvation. 
Therefore the doctrine of grace was relatively independent of 
the historical Christ. This danger of conceiving positive grace V^ 
without reference to Christ, or of connecting it with him only in /V* ' '' 
the form of aesthetic observations, continued to exert an in flu- ^ * 
ence. Luther, who started from Augustinianism, first overcame 
it, in as far as, in his relation to God, he only thought of God at 
all as he knew him in Christ Augustine was prevented from 
doing so by his religious philosophy, and also his Biblicism, 
both of which had established independent claims upon him. 
Thus it happened that he influenced the piety of Western 
Christians by a doctrine of grace which met their lower inclina- 
tions, as well as by a promulgation of the immediateness of the 
religious relationship which failed to do justice to Christ's 
significance as mirror of God's fatherly heart and as the eternal 
mediator. In the latter as the former case, he set his seal on 
and gave vitality to elements which existed in the traditional 
doctrine only as dead material or stunted germs. 

3. Augustine shared with the whole of contemporary Christen- 
dom the thought, held to be all-important, that a time would 
come when at the judgment-seat of Christ " every one would 
receive in accordance with his actions " ; and none will impugn 
the Christian character of this thought. But he went a step 
further, and also accepted the conception of merits current in 
the Church from the days of Tertullian and Cyprian. He did 
not get beyond the idea that in the final decision merits could 
alone be considered. He reconciled this principle, however, 
with his doctrine of grace, by teaching that God crowned his 
gifts (munera) in crowning our merits (merita).^ This seemed 
to correspond to both considerations, and the certainty with 
which this conception established itself in the Church appeared 

^ See e.g.t Confess. IX. 34 : " Quisquis tibi enumerat vera merita sua, quid tibi 
enumerat nisi munera toa." Ep. 194, n. 19: ''cum deus coronal merita nostra, 
nihil aliud coronat quam munera sua." De gratia et lib. arb., 15 : " Dona sua coronat 
dens non merita tua ... si ergo dei dona sunt bona merita tua, non deus coronat 
merita tua tamquam merita tua sed tamquam dona sua." De gestis Pelag., 35 : 

« > 


to guarantee that the correct view had now been reached. But, 
first, the question arises whether the ambiguity of the reconcilia- 
tion did not contribute to its being received ; secondly, it cannot 
fail to surprise us that there is not a word about faith in the 
principle. We are once more at a point where Augustine, in 
reforming the prevailing piety, paid it a very considerable 
tribute. He certainly expressed the importance and power of 
faith in a striking and novel fashion. He who disregards the 
formulas, but looks to the spirit, will everywhere find in 
Augustine's works a stream of Pauline faith. None before him 
but his teachers Victorinus and Ambrose, in some of their 
expositions, had used similar language. Numerous passages 
can be cited in which Augustine extolled faith as the element 
in which the soul lives, as beginning, middle, and end of piety. 
But in the sphere of dogmatic reflection Augustine spoke of 
faith with extreme uncertainty, and, indeed, as a rule, not 
differently from his predecessors. 

Different points meet here. Firstly, it was simply the power 
of tradition which prevented him from perceiving more in faith 
than the act of initiation. Secondly, Scriptural texts led him to 
the assumption that something else than faith, namely, habitual 
goodness (righteousness), must finally fall to be considered at the 
divine tribunal. Thirdly and lastly, he limited the significance 
of the forgiveness of sins. The last point is in his case the most 
paradoxical, but here the most important. He for whom the 
supreme thing was the certainty of possessing a God, and who 
called to his whole period : " You have not yet considered of how 
great weight sin is " (nondum considerasti, quanti ponderis sit 
peccatum), never realised the strict relation that exists between 
faith and forgiveness, nor could explain clearly that the assur- 
ance of forgiveness is life and salvation. At this point the 
moral element suddenly entered with sovereign power into reli- 
gious reflection. It is as if Augustine had here sought to escape 

'* Redditur quidem mentis tuis corona sua, sed dei dona sunt merita tua." De trinit., 
XIII., 14: *' £t ea quae dicuntur merita nostra, dona sunt eius," etc. XV. 21 : 
*'Quid animam faciet beatam, nisi meritura suum et pnemium domini sui? Sed et 
meritum ejus gratia est illius, cujus, praemium erit beatitudo ejus.'' De pnedest. 
sanct., 10. For this very reason the fundamental principle holds good, that grace is 
not granted secundum nurita nostra* 


the quietistic consequences of his doctrine (see above), and, in 
his inabih'ty to deduce positive virtue from faith in forgiveness of 
sin, turned from faith to works. Or was he prevented by the 
remnants of religious philosophy and cosmology that still clung 
to his theory of religion from perceiving absolutely that religion 
is bound up in faith in forgiveness of sins ? ^ Or, again, is this 
perception itself erroneous and untenable, one that paralyses the 
power of moral exertion ? We do not intend to examine these 
questions here. The fact is that Augustine conceived faith to 
be a preliminary stage, because he regarded forgiveness of sins 
as preliminary. If we look closely, we find that in his dogmatic 
theory sin was not guilty but loss and infirmity. The very man 
who strove for, and found, a lasting relationship with God, was not 
capable of reproducing and stating his experience correctly in 
the shape of doctrine. He came back to the customary moral- 
istic view, in so far as in his doctrine of grace he thought not of 
enmity to God, but the disease of sin, not of divine sonship, but 
of the restoration of a state in which man was rendered capable 
of becoming good, />., sinless. Therefore faith was merely 
something preliminary, and it is this that makes it so difficult to 
define Augustine's conception of the forgiveness of sins. It 
appears to have been really identical with the external and 
magical idea of his predecessors, with the exception that he had 
a firmer grasp of the forgiveness being an act of God, on which 
the baptised might constantly rely. But his reflection rarely 
took the form of regarding assurance of forgiveness as something 
whereby the soul receives energy and wings. He substantially 
never got beyond the impression that something was actually 
swept away by it, though that was indeed the gravest of facts, 

The impossibility of carrying out this conception will always, 
however, leave a latent doubt. In spite of his new feeling, 
Augustine, for this reason, moved entirely in the lines of the old 
scheme when he sought to supplement and to build upon for- 
giveness of sin, and looked about him for a positive force which 
was required to take its place alongside of the negative effect. 

1 In his 177th letter, e.g. (Ad Innocent., c. 4), he expressly deckres that it is an 
«rror to say that gratia is libcrum arbitrium or rcmissio peccatorum. 


V This he found in love. It was not in faith, but only in love, that 
he could recognise the force that really changed a man's nature, 
that set him in a new relationship. But then, in spite of the em- 
pirical objections that confronted him, he did not doubt that love 
could be infused like a medicine. Certain that God alone effects 
everything, he transferred to love the conception applicable to 
faith (trust) — that it ceases to be itself where it is felt to be other 
than an assimilative organ (^pyavov Xi/TmicoV) — as if love could 
also be as simply regarded as a gift of God through Christ 
(munus dei per Christum). The result of these reflections is that 
Augustine held that the relation of the pious soul to God was 

\/ most appropriately described as a gradually advancing process of 
sanctification. To this he believed he could reduce all legitimate 
considerations, the fundamental importance of faith, the concep- 
tion of (sacramental) grace as beginning, middle, and end, the 
need of positive forces capable of changing man's state, the view 
that only the just could be saved, and that no one was righteous 
whose works were not perfect, x>., the necessity of merits, etc. 
He believed that he had found a means of adjusting the claims 
of religion and morality, of grace and merits, of the doctrine of 
faith and eschatology. Omnipotent love became for him the 
principle that connected and supported everything. Faith, love,. 

^ and merit were successive steps in the way to final salvation, and 
he has impressed this view on the Catholic Church of after times, 
and on its piety up to the present day. It is the ancient scheme 
of the process of sanctification leading to final salvation, but so- 
transformed that grace acts upon all its stages. Excellent and 
— for many stages of development — appropriate as this concep- 
tion appears, yet it cannot be mistaken that in it Augustine 
lagged behind his own experience, and that against his will he 
subordinated the religious sphere to moral goodness ; for this 
subordination was by no means precluded by the equation "our 
merits, God's gifts '' (nostra merita, dei munera). Where merits 
play a part there is a failure to understand that there is a 

^^ relationship to God which is maintained mid weakness and sin,, 
as well as in misery and death. ^ 

^ But, besides, the final and supreme question as to assurance of salvation is not less 


Of this even Augustine had a presentiment, and he therefore 
also imparted to the Church, to which he transmitted his 
doctrine of faith, love, and merit, germs of a conception which 
could not but be fatal to that doctrine. They are not only in- 
cluded in his doctrine of predestination, but at least as much so in 
every passage of his writings, where he gives voice to the con- 
fession, " To me to cling to God is a good thing." In this 
avowal the religious possession and moral goodness coincide, 
and are referred to God, their source. But even apart from this, 
his idea of love : '* in this life also virtue is nothing but loving 
what ought to be loved ; good affections make a good character,"^ 
was so excellent and forcible that all criticism looks like im- 
pudent coxcombry. Nevertheless, we must criticise it from the 
standpoint of the gospel. We have already remarked above 
that Augustine's doctrine of infused love is indifferent to the 
work of the historical Christ. Therefore he had a two-fold 
Christology : on the one hand, Christ is God, a member of the 
Trinity (unus ex trinitatc) ; on the other hand, the chosen man, 
who wcLS as much under grace as we are. All that leads us back 
ultimately to the fact that he under-estimated the significanc 
of the forgiveness of sins and of the publican's faith : that his 
piety was not yet simple enough.* 

4. Finally, it is to be pointed out that Augustine in his re- 
formation of Christian piety did not disturb its character as a 
preparation for the next world. He could have changed noth- 
ing here without wounding the Christian religion itself; for the 
view of some Protestants, that Christianity can be transformed 
into a religion of this world, is an illusion. Augustine lived as 
much in the future world as Justin and Irenxus. His eschato- 

^ Et in hac vita yirtus non est nisi diligere quod diligendum est ; fadunt boni amores 
bonos mores. 

* It has seemed necessary to concede to Angustine's conception of sanctification that 
it had the merit of correcting the quietistic phase that clung dangerously to his 
doctrine of grace. But, on a closer inspection, we find that love did not certainly 
mean to him the exemplification of morality in serving our neighbour, but sentiments, 
or such works of love, as owed their value to reflex action at least as strongly as to 
philanthropy. Here again, in very many expositions, he did not advance beyond the 
old Catholic Christians, or Cyprian and Ambrose ; man attends best to his own in- 
terests by means of carUas^ and pleases God in divesting himself of what is worldly. 



logical reflections are inexhaustible, and if, as will be shown 
afterwards, he set aside a few of the older ideas, yet that aflfords 
,no standard of the whole trend of his piety. He only intensified 
the pessimistic view of this life, this mortal life and living death 
(vita mortalis, mors vitalis), by his doctrine of sin. " What flood of 
eloquence would ever suffice to portray the tribulations of this 
life, to describe this wretchedness, which is, as it were, a kind of 
hell in our present existence? Verily, the new-bom infant 
comes to our mortal light, not laughing but weeping, and by its 
tears prophesies in some fashion, even without knowing it, to 
what great evils it has come forth. . . . A heavy yoke burdens all 
the children of Adam from the day of birth to that of burial, 
when they return to the common mother of all. . . . And the 
sorest thing of all is that we cannot but know how, just by the 
grievous sin committed in Paradise, this life has become a 
punishment to us."^ Just as he has retained the pessimistic 
view of our present life, he has also described blessedness as the 
state of the perfect knowledge of God. He has done so in one 
of his earliest writings, De vita beata, and he substantially 
adhered to it 

But the very perception, that misery was not a mere fatality, 
but was incurred by guilt, and the confidence that grace could 
make man free and happy even upon this earth, exerted a 
certain counterpoise. He undoubtedly does not call the present 
life of the Christian " joy of felicity," ** but comfort of misery," 
and declares that to be an extremely false felicity which is 
devised by men who seek here another happiness than that 
entertained by hope* But in not a few passages he yet speaks 
of the joy in God which creates blessedness even here. He 
seldom obeyed this feeling. For that very reason he found this 

^ See also the thrilling description, De civitat, XIX. , 4. 

^ In his Soliloquies, one of his earliest writings, he awards felicity to the soul that 
perceives God here below. But in his Retractations, I., 4, he says expressly, " Nee 
illud mihi placet, quod in ista vita deo intellecto jam beatam esse animam (in Solilo- 
quiis) dixi, nisi forte spe.** In general, Augustine at a later date disavowed many 
arguments in his works written immediately after his conversion ; nay, even in his 
Confessions, in which he is disposed to describe his conversion as instantaneous, he has 
admitted in one important sentence how imperfect his Christian thought was at that 
time: IX. 7, " Ibi (in Cassiciacum) quid egerim in litteris, jam quidem servientibus 


life in itself objectless, and there are only a few indications,^ 
especially in the work, De civitate dei, in which he tried to 
show that a kingdom of Christ may be built up even in this 
world, and that the just, who live by faith, constitute it, and 
have a present task to perform (see also De trinit. L, 16 and 
21). Speaking generally, he propagated the feeling shown in 
ancient Christian eschatology in every respect, and prepared the 
ground for monachism. If he seems to have instigated the de- 
velopment of the Catholic Church in its tendency to masterful 
rule over this world, yet external circumstances, and the inter- 
pretation they produced of his work " De civitate dei," contri- 
buted much more to the result than any intentional impulses 
given by him.^ Where, however, there has developed in 
Catholicism in after times a strong sense of the blessedness 
which the Christian can receive even in this state, it has always 
assumed a mystical and ecstatic character. This is a clear 
proof that in any case this life was disregarded ; for the mystical 
feeling of blessedness, even as Augustine knew it, really exists, 
by means of an excess^ already in the future state. 

In the preceding pages the attempt has been made to show 
how the piety was constituted in which Augustine lived, and 
which he transmitted to posterity. It is extraordinary difficult to 
understand it aright ; for experience and tradition are interwoven 
in it in the most wonderful way. Yet we cannot understand 

tibi, sed adhue superbta scholam tanquam in pausationc anhelantibus^ testantur libii 
disputati cum prsesentibus (libr. c. Academ. — de beata vita — de ordine) at cum ipso 
me solo (Soliloquia) coram te ; quae autem cum absente Nebridio, testantur epistole "). 
Bat our judgment must here be divided. What was written earlier was undoubtedly 
in many respects less complete, less churchly, more Neoplatonic ; but on the other 
band it was more direct, more personal and determined to a smaller degree by regard 
for the Catholicism of the Church. Yet he was already determined to have nothing 
to do with a felicity of inquiry and seeking ; but only saw it in \\& possession (Adv. 
Acad, lib., I.). 

^ On Augustine's pessimistic and eschatological tendency, his view of the secular 
and clerical life, as also the efforts to surmount the popular Catholic conception, see 
Reuter, Lc, Studie VI. We return briefly to these subjects further on. 


him as teacher of the Church, until we have formed our estimate 
of him as reformer of piety ; for, besides Scripture and tradition, 
his theories have their strongest roots in the piety that animated 
him. They are in part nothing but states of feeling interpreted 
theoretically. But in these states of feeling there gathered round 
the grand experience of conversion from bondage to freedom 
in God all the manifold religious experiences and moral re- 
flections of the ancient world. The Psalms and Paul, Plato 
and the Neoplatonists, the Moralists, Tertullian and Ambrose. 
we find all again in Augustine, and, side by side with the new 
psychological view constructed by him as disciple of the Neo- 
platonists, we come once more upon all the childish reflections 
and absolute theories which these men had pursued. 



The ancient Church before Augustine only possessed a single 
great dogmatic scheme, the Christological, Augustine also knew 
it and made use of it ; but in inserting it into a greater and 
more living group, he deprived it of its original meaning and 
object It has been said of Socrates that he brought philosophy 
down from heaven ; we may maintain of Augustine that he did 
the same for dogmatics, by separating it from speculations about ^ 
the finite and infinite, God the Logos and the creature, mortal 
and immortal, and connecting it with questions as to moral good, 
freedom, sin, and blessedness. Goodness became for him the point 
on which turned the consideration of blessings ; moral goodness 
(virtue) and the possession of salvation were not merely to 
occupy corresponding positions, but to coincide (ipsa virtus et 
praemium virtutis). If we may use a figure, we can say that 
Augustine formed into one the two centres of popular Catholic ) 
theology, the renewing power of redemption and the free effort 
to attain virtue ; of the ellipse he made a circle — God, whose 
grace delivers the will and endows it with power to do what is 
good. In this is comprehended his significance in the history 
of the Christian religion. He did not, however, vindicate the 
new portion consistently, but built the old into it Indeed, in 
the new cathedral erected by him, the old building formed, as 
it were, the holy of holies, which is seldom entered. 

When we seek to determine what has been accomplished by 
an ancient Church theologian as teacher of the Church, we must 
examine his expositions of the Symbol. We possess several by 
Augustine. It is extremely instructive to compare the earliest 
(De fide et symbolo, A.D. 393) with one of the latest (De fide, 



spe et caritate, A.D. 421, or later). In the former Augustine is 
still substantially a theologian of the ancient Church. The 
questions discussed by him are the same as were then dealt 
with, in both halves of the Church, in the Symbol, and are sug- 
gested by its language. Even the manner in which he discusses 
them is but slightly distinguished from the customary one. 
Finally, the polemic is the one that was usual : Arians,Manich2eans« 
Apollinarians, Pneumatomachoi occupy the foreground ; the last 
named especially are very thoroughly refuted. On the other 
hand, Augustine's characteristics declare themselves even in this 
early exposition.^ Thus we have, above all, his love of truth 
and frankness in the sections on the Holy Spirit, and his scepti- 
cal reserve and obedient submission to Church tradition. 
Further, in the Christology we find his characteristic scheme 
" Christ invested in man " (Christus indutus in homine), as well 
as the strong emphasis laid on the humility of Christ contrasted 
with pride (superbia). Compare, besides, sentences like the 
following. Chapter VI. — ** Since he is only-begotten he has no 
brothers ; but since he is first-begotten, he has deigned to name 
all those his brothers who after and through his headship are 
born again into the grace of God through the adoption of sons." 
Or (Chapter XI.) : "Our Lord's humility was lowly in his being 
born for us ; to this it was added that he deigned to die for 

1 The foundation of Augustine's religious characteristics can be best studied in the 
writings that are read least, namely in the tractates and letters written imnnediately 
after his conversion, and forming an extremely necessary supplement to his Confes- 
sions (see above, p. 92, note 2). In these writings he is not yet at all interested in 
Church dogmatics, but is wholly absorbed in the task of making clear to himself, 
while settling with Neoplatonism, the new stage of religious philosophical reflection 
and inner experience, in which he finally found rest (see De vita beata. Adv. Academ., 
Soliloquia, De ordine, and the Epistles to Nebridius). The state of feeling expressed 
by him in these works never left him ; but it was only in a later period that he gave it 
its dogmatic sub-structure. In consequence of this, as is proved even by the Confes- 
sions and also the Retractations, he himself lost the power of rightly estimating those 
writings and the inner state in which he had found himself m the first years after his 
conversion. But he never lost the underlying tone of those first fruits of his author- 
ship : '' Rest in the possession of God," as distinguished from the unrest and unbap- 
piness of a seeking and inquiry that never reach their aim, or the essentially 
Neoplatonic version of the loftiest problems (see f.^., De ordine II., 11 ff., "mala 
in ordinem redacta faciunt decorem universi " ; the same view of evil is still given in 
De civit., XL, 18). Those writings cannot be more fully discussed in a history of 


mortals." Or (Chapter XIX.): "The writers of the Divine 
Scriptures declare that the Holy Spirit is God's gift in order that 
we may believe that God does not bestow a gift inferior to himself!* 
Or (ibid.) : " No one enjoys that which he knows, unless he also 
loves it . , . nor does anyone abide in that which he apprehends 
unless by love."^ But if Augustine had died before the Donatist 
and Pelagian controversies, he would not have been the dog- 
matist who changed the whole scheme of doctrine ; for it was 
these controversies that first compelled him to reflect on and 
review what he had long held, to vindicate it with all his power, 
and to introduce it also into the instruction of the Church. But 
since it had never entered his mind that the ancient doctrinal 
tradition, as attached to the Symbol, could be insufficient,* since 
it had still less occurred to him to declare the Symbol itself to 
be inadequate, it was a matter of course to him that he should 

1 Secundam id, quod unigenitus est, non habet fratres ; secundum id autem quod 
primogenitus est, fratres vocare dignatus est onines qui post ejus et per ejus primatum 
in dei gratiam renascuntur per adoptionem filiorum.'' ** Parva erat pro nobis domini 
nostri humilitas in nascendo ; accessit etiam ut mori pro mortalibus dignaretur." 
" Divinarum scripturarum tractatores spiritum sanctum donum dei esse prsedicant, ut 
deum credamus non se ipso inferius donum dare^ " £o quod quisque novit non 
fniitur, nisi et id diligat • . . neque quisquam in eo quod percipit permanet nisi 

* He undoubtedly noticed, and with his love of truth frankly said, that the Church 
writers gave throughout an insufficient statement of the grace of God ; but he con- 
tented himself with the plea that the Church had always duly emphasised grace in its 
prayers and institutions. See prsedest. sanct., 27 : *' Quid opus est, ut eorum scrute- 
mur opuscula, qui prius quam ista hseresis (Pelagianorum) oriretur, non habuerunt 
necessitatem in hac difficili ad solvenduni quaestione versari? quod procul dubio 
facerent, si respondere talibus cogerentur. Unde factum est, ut de gratia dei quid 
sentirent, breviter quibusdam scriptorum suorum locis et transeunter adtingerent, im- 
morarentur vero in eis, quae adversus inimicos ecclesise disputabant, et in exhortationi- 
bus ad quasque virtutes, quibus deu vivo et vero pro adipiscenda vita seterna et vera 
felicitate serviiur. Frequentationibus autem orationum simpliciter apparebat dei 
gratia quid valeret ; non enim poscerentur de deo quae pnecipit fieri, nisi ah illo 
donaretur ut fierent." He himself had indeed learned from experience in his struggle 
with the Manichseansy that the defence of truth has to be regulated by the nature of 
the attack. When he was twitted by his opponents with what he had formerly 
written about freewill against the Manichseans, he appealed to the claims of advanc- 
ing knowledge, as well as to the duty of offering resistance both to right and left. 
He thos saw in the earlier Church teachers the defenders of the truth of the Church 
against fatalism, Gnosticisim, and Manichadsm, and from this standpoint explained 

their attitude. 



make everything which he had to present as religious doctrine 
hinge on that Confession. In this way arose the characteristic 
scheme of doctrine, which continued to influence the West in 
the Middle Ages ; nay, on which the Reformed version is based 
— a combination of ancient Catholic theology and system with 
the new fundamental thought of the doctrine of grace, forced 
into the framework of the Symbol. It is evident that by this 
means a mixture of styles arose which was not conducive to the 
transparency and intelligibility of doctrine. But we have not 
only to complain of want of clearness, but also of a complexity 
of material which, in a still higher degree than was the case in the 
ancient Catholic Church, necessarily frustrated the demand for 
a closely reasoned and homogeneous version of religious doc- 
trine. We are perhaps justified in maintaining that the Church 
never possessed in ancient times another teacher so anxious as 
Augustine to think out theological problems, and to secure unity 
for the system of doctrine. But the circumstances in which he 
was placed led to him above all others necessarily confusing that 
system of doctrine, and involving it in new inconsistencies.^ 
The following points fall to be considered. 

I. As a Western theologian, he felt that he was bound by the 
Symbol ; but no Western theologian before him had lived so 
much in Scripture, or taken so much from it as he. The old vari- 
ance between Symbol and Scripture,* which at that time indeed 
was not yet consciously felt, was accordingly intensified by him. 
The uncertainty as to the relation of Scripture and Symbol was 
increased by him in spite of the extraordinary services he had 
rendered in making the Church familiar with the former. * The 
Biblicism of later times, which afterwards took up an aggressive 
attitude to the Church in the West, is to be traced back to 
Augustine ; and the resolute deletion of Scriptural thoughts by 

1 It is self-evident that for this reason dogma, <.«., the old Catholic doctrine of the 
Trinity and Christology, necessarily became less impressive. Reuter's objection (l.c 
p. 495) rests on an incomprehensible misunderstanding. 

^See on this and on what follows, Vol. III., pp. 203 ff., 207 ff. 

<The attempts to define their relationship,^.^., in Book I. of the treatise De 
doctrina Christiana, are whoUy vague, and indeed scarcely comprehensible. The 
** substance " of Scripture is to form the propositions of the Rule of Faith ; bat yet 
every sentence of Scripture is an article of faith. 


an appeal to the authority of the Church's doctrine may equally 
refer to him.^ If we are asked for the historical justification 
of pre-reformers and reformers in the West, in taking their 
stand exclusively on Scripture, we must name Augustine ; if we 
are asked by what right such theologians have been silenced, we 
may refer similarly to Augustine ; but we can in this case un- 
doubtedly go back to the authority of Tertullian (De praescr. 


2. On the one hand, Augustine was convinced that everything 
in Scripture was valuable for faith, and that any thought was at 
once justified, ecclesiastically and theologically, by being proved 
to be Biblical — see his doctrine of predestination and other 
tenets, of which he was certain simply because they were found 
in the Bible. By this principle any unity of doctrine was nul- 
lified. * But, on the other hand, Augustine knew very well that 
religion was a practical matter, that in it faith, hope, and love, or 
love alone, were all-important, and that only what promoted the 
latter had any value. Indeed he advanced a considerable step 
further, and approximated to the Alexandrian theologians : he 
ultimately regarded Scripture merely as a meanSy which was dis- 
pensed with when love had reached its highest point, and he 
even approached the conception that the very facts of Christ's 
earthly revelation were stages beyond which the believer passed, 
whose heart was possessed wholly by love. ' This latter point — 
which is connected with his individualistic theology, but slightly 

1 After his conversion Augustine was firmly of opinion that nothing stood in Scrip- 
tare that contradicted the doctrine of the Church ; he was not so certain that the inter- 
pretation of Scripture must follow the authority of tradition. Yet what a profusion of 
" dangerous " ideas would have been evolved from the Bible by his rich and acute 
genius if once he had freed his intellect from the fetters of obedience ! The perception 
that no leas than everything would have been doubtful, that a thousand contradictions 
would have taken the place of a unanimous doctrine, certainly helped in determining 
him not to shake the txars of his prison. He felt he would never be able to escape, 
but would be buried by the ruins of the collapsing edifice. Hence the principle 
declared in De nat. et grat. 22, that we must first submit to what stands in Scripture, 
and only then ask *' quomodo id fieri potuerit." What a difference from Origen ! 

« See Vol. 11. , 331, n. 3. 

>De doctr. Christ. I.» 34 : an extremely noteworthy exposition, which, so far as I 
know, has very few clear parallek in Augustine's works, but forms the background of 
bis development. 


influenced by the historical Christ — will be discussed below. It 
is enough here to formulate sharply the inconsistency of making 

y Scripture, on the one hand, a source, and, on the other, a means,^ 
— a means indeed which is finally dispensed with like a crutch. ^ 
The mystics and fanatics of the West have given their adhesion 
to the last principle, advancing the inner light and inner revela- 
tion against the written. Now Augustine, in his excellent pre- 
face to his work " De doctrina Christiana," has undoubtedly, as 
with a flash of prophetic illumination, rejected all fanatical 
inspiration, which either fancied it had no need at all of Scripture, 
or, appealing to the Spirit, declared philological and historical 
interpretation to be useless. But yet he opened the door to 
fanaticism with his statement that there was a stage at which 
men had got beyond Scripture. Above all, however, he created 
the fatal situation, in which the system of doctrine and theology 
of the Western Church are still found at the present day, by the 
vagueness which he failed to dispel as to the importance of the 
letter of Scripture. The Church knows, on the one hand, that 
in the Bible, so far as meant for faith, the " matter " is alone of 
V importance. But, on the other hand, it cannot rid itself of the 

^ prejudice that every single text contains a Divine and absolute 
direction, a ** revelation." Protestant Churches have in this 
respect not gone one step beyond Augustine ; Luther himself, if 
we compare his " prefaces" to the New Testament, e,g., with his 
position in the controversy about the Lord's Supper, was 
involved in the same inconsistency as burdened Augustine's 
doctrinal structure. 

3. Augustine brought the practical element to the front more 
than any previous Church Father. Religion was only given to 
produce faith, love, and hope, and blessedness itself was bound 
up in these virtues bestowed by God, or in love. But the act of 
reform, which found expression in the subordination of all 
materials to the above intention, was not carried out by him 

^See the details in *'De doctr. Christiana" copied in Vol. III., p. 203, n. 2, of 
this work. 

sDe doctr. Christ, 35-40, esp)ecially c. 39, ''Therefore a man who depends on 
£Eiith, hope, and love, and holds by them invincibly, only needs Scripture to instnict 
others." Scripture even only offers patchwork ; but a man may rise to such perfection 
even in this life as no longer to require the patchwork. 


unalloyed. In retaining the old Catholic scheme, knowledge 
and eternal life (atpOapa-la) remained the supreme thoughts ; in 
pursuing Neoplatonic mysticism, he did not cast off the acosmic 
view that regarded all phenomena as transient, and all that was 
transient as figurative, retaining finally only the majesty of the 
concealed Deity ; in despising the present life, he necessarily 
also depreciated faith and all that belonged to the present 
Thus, his theology was not decided, even in its final aims, by 
one thought, and he was therefore unable really to carry out his 
doctrine of grace and sin in a pure form. As the intellectualism 
of antiquity, of course in a sublimated form, was not wholly 
superseded by him, his profoundest religious utterances were 
accompanied by, or entwined with, philosophical considerations. 
Often one and the same principle has a double root, a Neo- 
platonic and a Christian (Pauline), and accordingly a double 
meaning, a cosmological and a religious. Philosophy, saving 
faith, and Church tradition, disputed the leading place in his 
system of faith, and since Biblicism was added to these three 
elements, the unity of his type of thought was everywhere 

4. But apart from the intention, the execution contains not 
only inconsistencies in detail, but opposite views. In his con- 
flict with Manichseism and Donatism, Augustine sketched a 
doctrine of freedom, the Church, and the means of grace, which 
has little in common with his experience of sin and grace, and 
simply conflicts with the theological development of that ex- 
perience — the doctrine of predestinating grace. We can 
positively sketch two Augustinian theologies, one ecclesiastical, 
the other a doctrine of grace, and state the whole system in 

5. But even in his ecclesiastical system and his doctrine of 
grace, conflicting lines of thought meet ; for in the former 
a hierarchical and sacramental fundamental element conflicts 
with a liberal, universalist view inherited from the Apologists ; 
and in the doctrine of grace two different conceptions are 
manifestly combined, namely, the thought of grace through (per, 
propter) Christ, and that of grace emanating, independently of 
Christ, from the essential nature of God as the supreme good 



and supreme being (summum bonum, summum esse). The 
latter inconsistency was of greatest importance for Augustine's 
own theology, and for the attitude of Western theology after 
him. The West, confessedly, never thoroughly appropriated the 
uncompromising Eastern scheme of Christology as a statement 
of saving faith. But by Augustine the relation of the doctrine 
of the two natures (or the Incarnation) to that of salvation was 
still further loosened. It will be shown that he really prepared 
the way much more strongly for the Franciscan feeling towards 
Christ than for Anselm's satisfaction theory, and that, in general, 
as a Christologian — in the strict sense of the term — he be- 
queathed more gaps than positive material to posterity. But in 
addition to this antithesis of a grace through Christ and with- 
out Christ, we have, finally, in Augustine's doctrine of sin a 
strong Manichaean and Gnostic element ; for Augustine never 
wholly surmounted Manichaeism. 

From our exposition up to this point — and only the most 
important facts have been mentioned — it follows that we cannot 
speak of Augustine having a system, nor did he compose any 
work which can be compared to Origen's irepi apxS>V' Since he 
did not, like the latter, boldly proclaim the right of an esoteric 
Christianity, but rather as Christian and churchman constantly 
delayed taking this liberating step,^ everything with him stands 
on one level, and therefore is involved in conflict* But it is 
" not what one knows and says that decides, but what one 
loves " ; he loved God, and his Church, and he was true. This 
attitude is conspicuous in all his writings, whether it is the Neo^ 
platonist, the earlier Manichaean,- the Pauline Christian, the 
Catholic Bishop, or the Biblicist, that speaks, and it lends to all 
his expositions a unity, which, though it cannnot be demon- 
strated in the doctrines, can be plainly felt. Therefore, also, the 
different movements that started or learned from him, were 
always conscious of the complete man, and drew strength from 

1 Tendencies in this direction are found everywhere ; but they were never more 
than tendencies. 

9 It is one of Renter's chief merits that he has proved the impossibility of construct- 
ing a system from Augustine's thought, and of removing the inconsistencies that 
occur in it. 


him. He would not have been the teacher of the future if he 
had not stood before it as a Christian personality who lent force 
and weight to every word, no matter in what direction it led. 
As preacher of faith, love, and the dispensation of grace, he has 
dominated Catholic piety up to the present day. By his funda- 
mental sentiment : " Mihi adhserere deo bonum est," as also by 
his distinction between law and gospel, letter and spirit, and his 
preaching that God creates faith and a good will in us, he called 
forth the evangelical Reformation.^ ^y his doctrine of the 
authority and means of grace of the Church, he carried forward 
the construction of Roman Catholicism ; nay, he first created /^ 
the hierarchical and sacramental institution. By his Biblicism 
he prepared the way for the so-called pre-reformation move- 
ments, and the criticism of all extra-Biblical ecclesiastical tradi- 
tions. By the force of his speculation, the acuteness of his 
intellect, the subtlety of his observation and experience, he 
incited, nay, partly created, scholasticism in all its branches, 
including the Nominalistic, and therefore also the modern 
theory of knowledge and psychology. By his NQoglatonism 
and enthusiasm for predestination he evoked the mysticism as 
well as the anti-clerical opposition of the Middle Ages.^ By 
the form of his ideal of the Church and of felicity, he strengthened 
the popular Catholic, the monachist, state of feeling, domesticat- 
ing it, moreover, in the Church, and thereby rousing and capaci- 
tating it to overcome and dominate the world as contrasted with 
the Church.. Finally, by his unique power ofjX)rtraying him- 
self, of expressing the wealth of hFs geniusTan^ giving every 
word an individual impress, by his gift of individualising and 
self-observation, he contributed to the rise of the Renaissance 
and the modern spirit"/ 

These are not capricious combinations, but historical facts : * 
the connecting lines that lead back to him, can everywhere be 

2 See the testimonies to Aagustine of the Reformers and their confessional writings ; 
yet the difference that still existed was not unknown to them. 

sEven the Anti-Gregorian party in the Middle Ages frequently appealed to 
Augustine. It was possible to find in him welcome statements as to the meaning of 
the Empire, the possibility of correcting Councils, and, generally, anti-hierarchical 

* Compare Renter, Studie VII. 


clearly demonstrated. But where, then, in the history of the 
West IS there a man to be compared to him ? Without taking 
much to do with aflfairs — Augustine was Bishop of a second- 
rate city, and possessed neither liking; nor talent for the r6le of 
an ecclesiastical leader or practical reformer — by the force of 
his ideas he influenced men, and made his life permeate the 
centuries that followed. 


It has been attempted to depict Augustine's significance as 
Church teacher, by dividing absolutely the various directions in 
_which his thought moved, and by giving separate accounts of 
the Neoplatonist, the Paulinist, the earlier Manichaean, and the 
Catholic Bishop.^ But it is to be feared that violence is done 
him by such an analysis. It is safer and more appropriate, 
within the limits of a history of dogma, to keep to the external 
unity which he has himself given to his conceptions. In that 
case his Enchiridion ad Laurentium^ his matured exposition ol 
the Symbol, presents itself as our best guide. This writing we 
mean to bring forward at the close of the present chapter, after 
preliminary questions have been discussed which were of 
supreme importance to Augustine, and the controversies have 
been reviewed in which his genius was matured. We shall, in 
this way, obtain the clearest view of what Augustine achieved 
for the Church of his time^ and of the revolution he evoked. It 
is a very attractive task to centralise Augustinian theology, but 
it is safer to rest content with the modest result of becoming 
acquainted with it, in so far as it exerted its influence on the 
Church. One difficulty meets us at the very outset which can 
not be removed, and went on increasing in after times. What 
portion of Augustine* s countless expositions constituted dogma 
in his own eyes, or became dogma at a later period? While he 
extended dogma to an extraordinary extent, he at the same time 

^ It is unmistakable that there are three planes in Augustine's theological thoughts, 
Neoplatonic mysticism (without means of grace, without the Church, nay, in a 
sense, even without Christ), Christological soteriology, and the plane of the authority 
and sacraments of the Church. Besides these, rationalistic and Manichaean elements 
have to be taken into account. 


sometimes relaxed, sometimes — as regards ancient tradition — 
specifically stiffened, the notion to be held of it. The question 
as to the extent of dogmas was neither answered, nor ever put 
precisely, in the West, after the Donatist and Pelagian contro- 
versies. In other words, no necessity was felt for setting up 
similarly express positive statements in addition to the express 
refutations of Pelagians, Donatists, etc. But the necessity was 
not felt, because Churchmen possessed neither self-confidence 
nor courage to take ecclesiastical action on a grand scale. 
They always felt they were Epigones of a past time which had 
created the professedly adequate tradition. This feeling, which 
was still further accentuated in the Middle Ages, was gradually 
overcome by the Popes, though solely by them. Apart from 
a few exceptions, it was not till the Council of Trent that 
dogmas were again formed. Till then the only dogmas were 
the doctrines contained in the Symbols. Next these stood the 
catalogues of heretics, from which dogmas could be indirectly 
deduced. This state of matters induces us to present the 
doctrine of Augustine as fully as possible, consistently with the 
design of a text-book. Many things must here be brought 
forward from his works which bore no fruit in his own time, but 
had a powerful influence on the course of doctrinal develop- 
ment in the following centuries, and came to light in the 
dogmas of Trent.^ 

In what follows we shall proceed (i) to describe Augustine's 
fundamental view, his doctrines of the first and last things ; * 

1 Reater also recognises (p. 495 f., note) that Augustine held the contents of the 
Sjrmbol alone to be dogma. But we have here to remember that the most elaborate 
doctrine of the Trinity and Christology were evolved from the Symbol, and that its 
words " sancta ecclesia" and "remissio peccatorum " contained theories from which 
equally far-reaching dogmas could be formed, or heretics be convicted. Even 
Cyprian refuted the Novatians from the Symbol, and Augustine used it against the 
Pelagians. A peculiar difficulty in the way of discussing Augustine in the history of 
dogma consists further in the fact that he created countless theological schemes^ but 
no dogmaticy^/»<//aj. He was too copious, too earnest, and too sincere to publish 

* Augustine was the first dogmatist to feel the need of considering for himself the 
questions, which we are now accustomed to treat in the " prolegomena to dogmatics." 
The Alexandrians undoubtedly attempted this also ; but in their case formal and 
material, original and derived, were too much intertwined. Nor did they advance to 


for they were fixed when he became a Catholic Christian ; (2) 
and (3) we then describe his controversies with Donatists and 
Pelagians, in which his conception of faith was deepened and 
unfolded ; and (4) we expound his system of doctrine by the 
help of the Enchiridion ad Laiirentium. 

I. Augustine's Doctrines of the First and Last Things} 

It has been said of Fiesole that he prayed his pictures on to 
the walls. It can be maintained of Augustine that his most 
profound thoughts regarding the first and the last things arose 
out of prayers ; for all these matters were contained for him in 
God. If the same can be said of innumerable mystics down to 
the private communities of Madame de Guyon and Tersteegen, 
it is true of them because they were Augustine's disciples. But 
more than anyone else he possessed the faculty of combining 
speculation about God with a contemplation of mind and soul 
which was not content with a few traditional categories, but 
analysed the states of feeling and the contents of consciousness. 
Every advance in this analysis became for him at the same time 
an advance in the knowledge of God, and vice versd ; concen- 
tration of his whole being in prayer led him to the most abstract 
observation, and this, in turn, changed to prayer. No philo- 
sopher before or after him has verified in so conspicuous a 
fashion the profound saying that "the fear of the Lord is the 
beginning of wisdom." Godliness was the very atmosphere of 
his thought and life. " Piety is the wisdom of man " (Hominis 
sapientia pietas est, Enchir., 2 ; De civ. dei XIV., 28). Thus 
Augustine was the psychological^ because he was the theological^ 
genius of the Patristic period.* Not unversed in the domains 
of objective secular knowledge, he yet discarded them more 

the last problems of psychology and the theory of perception. Enchir., 4: "Quid 
primum, quid ultimum, teneatur, quae totius deBnitionis summa sit, quod certum 
propriumque fidei catholicse fundamentum.'' (Questions by Laurentius.) 

^ Augustine taught that it was only possible to obtain a firm grasp of the highest 
questions by earnest and unwearied independent labour. Herein above all did his 
greatness consist. 

3 Compare with what follows, Siebeck, in the Ztschr. f. Philos. und philos. Kritik» 
1888, p. 170 ff. 


resolutely than his Neoplatonic teachers, to whom he owed 
much, but whom he far surpassed. " The contents of the inner 
life lay clearly before Augustine's eyes as a realm of distinctive 
objects of perception, outside and independent of sense experi- 
ence, and he was convinced by his own rich insight that in this 
sphere quite as genuine knowledge and information, based on 
inner experience, were to be gained, as by external observation 
in surrounding nature." Augustine brought to an end the de- 
velopment of ancient philosophy by completing the process 
which led from the naive objective to the subjective objective.^ 
He found what had been long sought for : the making of the 
inner life the starting-point of reflection on the world.* And 
he did not give himself up to empty dreams, but investigated 
with a truly ** physiological psychology " all conditions of the 
inner life, from its elementary processes up to the most sublime 
moods ; he became, because he was the counterpart of Aristotle, 
the true Aristotle of a new science,' which seems indeed to 

1 See the Appendix on Neoplatonism, Vol. I., p. 336^. 

'The method of the Neoplatonists was still very uncertain, and this is connected, 
among other things, with their polytheism. It is easy to show that Angnstine 
went so much further in psychology because he was a monothelst. So far as I know 
we are still, unfortunately, without any investigation of the importance of monotheism 
for psychology. 

s See the excellent parallel between them in Siebeck, I.e. p. 188 f. : ** Among the 
important personalities of Antiquity two could hardly be found with characters so 
different as Aristotle and Augustine. In the former we have the Greek, restful and 
clear, and yet moved by energetic warmth of thought, who gives its purest scientific 
expression to the Hellenic ideal of the life of the cultured, contentitient with the even 
and constant advance of the life of the thinker, examining the depths and wants nf 
the soul, only in so far as they appear on the surface, in the external nature and garb 
of the affections, and discussing this whole domain, not properly in order to know 
the heart, but only for rhetorical purposes. The internal world of the soul is here 
described and criticised only in so far as it evinces itself in reciprocal action with the 
external, and in the form it assumes as determined by the co-operation of the latter. 
For the comprehensive and final problem with Aristotle is the scientific construction 
and form of the external world in nature and social life. Augustine's tendency ahd 
frame of mind are quite the opposite. The external owes ail its importance and 
value in his eyes to the form it assumes as reflected in the internal. Every- 
thing is dominated not by problems of nature and the State and secular ethics, but 
by those of the deepest wants of mind and heart, of love and faith, hope and con- 
science. The proper objects and the moving forces of his speculation are not found 
in the relation of inward to outward, but of inner to innermost, to the sense and 
vision of God in the heart. Even the powers of the intellect are looked at from a 


have forgotten that as a theory of perception, and as inner 
observation, it originated in the monotheistic faith and life 
of prayer. He disposed of all that we call the ancient classical 
temper, the classical conception of life and the world. With 
the last remains of its cheerfulness and naive objectivity, he 
buried for a long time the old truth itself, and showed 
the way to a new truth of things. But this was bom 
in him amid pains, and it has kept its feature of painful- 
ness. Mohammed, the barbarian, smote into ruins, in the 
name of Allah, who had mastered him, the Hellenistic 
world which he did not know. Augustine, the disciple of 
the Hellenes, completed in the West the long prepared dis- 
solution of this world, in the name of God, whom he had 

new point of view, owing to the influence exerted on them by the heart and will, and 
they lose, in consequence, their claim to sole supremacy in scientific thought. The 
cool analysis made by Aristotle of the external world, which also dissected and dis> 
criminated between the states of tlie soul, as if they were objects that existed exter- 
nally, disappears in Augu<tine before the immediate experience and feeling of states 
and processes of the emotional life ; but the fact that he presents them to us with 
the warmest personal interest in them, entirely prevents us from feeling the absence 
of the Aristotelian talent of acuteness in analytical dissection. While Aristotle avoids 
all personal and individual colouring in his views, and labours Everywhere to let the 
matter in hand speak for itself, Augustine, even when bringing forward investigations 
of the most general purport, always speaks as if only of himself, the individual, to 
whom his personal feelings and sensations are the main thing. He is a priori certain 
that they must have a farther reaching meaning, since feeling and wishing are found 
to be similar potencies in every human heart. Questions of ethics, which Aristotle 
handles from the standpoint of the relation of man to man, appear in Augustine in 
the light of the relations between his own heart and that of this known and felt God. 
With the former the supreme decision is given by clear perception of the external by 
reason ; with the latter, by the irresistible force of the internal, the conviction of feel- 
ing, which in his case — as is given in such perfection to few — is fused with the pene- 
trating light of the intellect. . . . Aristotle knows the wants of the inner life only so 
far as they are capable of developing the life, supported by energetic eflfort and philo- 
sophic equanimity, in and with society. He seems to hold that clear thinking and 
restfuUy energetic activity prevent all suffering and misfortune to society or the indi- 
vidual. The deeper sources of dispeace, of pain of soul, of unfulfilled wants of the 
heart, remain dark in his investigation. Augustine's significance begins just where 
the problem is to trace the unrest of the believing or seeking soul to its roots, and to 
make sure of the inner facts in which the heart can reach its resL Even the old pro- 
blems which he reviews and examines in their whole extent and meaning from the 
standpoint of his rich scientific culture, now appear in a new light. Therefore he 
can grasp, and, at the same time, deepen everything which has come to him from 
Hellenism. For Aristotle, everything that the intellect can see and analyse in the 


perceived to be the only reality ; ^ but he built up a new world 
in his own heart and mind.* However, nothing really perished 
entirely, because everything was accomplished by a protracted 
transformation, and, besides, the old Hellenistic world continued 
in part to exist on the North-East coast of the Mediterranean. 
It was possible to travel back along the line which had been 
traced by a millennium down to Augustine, and the positive 

inner and outer world constitutes a problem ; for Augustine, that holds the chief 
place which the life of feeling and desire forces on him as a new fact added to his 
previous knowledge. In the one cose it is the calm, theoretical mind ; in the other, 
the conscience excited by the unrest caused by Inve of God and consciousness of sin, 
from which the questions spring. But along with this, scientific interest also turned 
to a wholly novel side of actual life. No wond«r that the all-sufficiency of the dis- 
secting and abstracting intellect had its despotism limited. The intellect Wias now 
no longer to create problems, but to receive them from the depths of the world of 
feeling, in order then to see what could be made of them. Nor was it to continue to 
feel supremacy over the will, but rather the influence to which it was subject from it. 
The main subject of its reflections was to consist, henceforth, not in the external 
world, nor in the internal discussed by means of analogy with, and the method of, 
the external, but in the kernel of personality, conscience in connection with emotion 
and will. Only from this point might it return, in order to learn to understand them 
anew, to previous views of the inner and outer life. Aristotle, the Greek, was only 
interested in the life of the soul, in so far as it turned outward and helped to fathom 
the world theoretically and practically ; Augustine, the first mocUrn man (the expres- 
sion occurs also in Sell, Aus der Gesch. des Christenthums, 1888, p. 43 ; I had 
already used it years ago), only took it into consideration, in so far as reflection upon 
it enabled him to conceive the inner character of personal life as something really in- 
dependent of the outer world." Aristotle and Augustine arc the two rivals who con- 
tended in the science and tendency of the following centuries. Both, as a rule, were 
indeed degraded, Aristotle to empty distinctions and categories, and a hide-bound 
dogmatism, Augustine to a mysticism floating in all conceivable media, having lost 
the guidance of a sure observation of the inner nature. Even in the Pelagians 
Augustine energetically opposed Aristotelian rationalism, and his controversy with 
them was repeated over and over again in after ages. In the history of religion it 
was a light between a really irreligious, theologically, labellerl morality and religion ; 
for even in its classical form, Aristotclianism is a morality without religion. 

^All Christian Hellenistic thinkers before Augustine were still refined polyiheists, 
or, more correctly, the polytheistic element was not wholly eradicated in their case, 
seeing that they preserved a part of nature-religion. This is most evident among 
Origen's successors. 

« Weh ! Weh ! Wir tragen 

Da hast sie zerstort. Die Trttmmer ins Nichts hiniiber 

Die schone Welt, Und klagen 

Mit machtiger Faust ; Ueber die verlorene Schone. 

Sie sturzt, sie zerfallt \ Prachtiger bauc sie wieder, 

Ein Halbgott hat sie zerschlagen! In deinem Busen baue sie auf I 


capital, which Neoplatonism and Augustine had received from 
the past and had changed into negative values, could also be 
re-established with a positive force. But something had un- 
doubtedly been lost ; we find it surviving in almost none but 
those who were ignorant of theology and philosophy ; we do 
not find it among thinkers ; and that is frank joy in the pheno- 
menal world, in its obvious meaning, and in calm and energetic 
/work.^ If it were possible to unite in science and in the dis- 
position, the piety, spirituality, and introspection of Augustine, 
with the openness to the world, the restful and energetic activity, 
and unclouded cheerfulness of antiquity, we should have reached 
the highest level ! We are told that such a combination is a 
phantom, that it is an absurd idea. But do we not honour the 
great minds, who have been granted us since Luther, simply 
because they have endeavoured to realise the " fancy picture " ? 
Did not Goethe declare this to be his ideal, and endeavour to 
present it in his own life, in his closing epoch ? Is it not in the 
same ideal that the meaning of evangelical and reforming Chris- 
tianity is contained, if it is really different from Catholicism ? 

" I desire to know God and the soul. Nothing more ? No- 
thing at all."* In these words Augustine has briefly formulated 
the aim of his spiritual life. That was the truth^ for which 
** the marrow of his soul sighed." All truth was contained for 
him in the perception of God. After a brief period of sore 
doubting, he was firm as a rock in the conviction that there was 
a God, and that he was the supreme good (summum bonum) ;*^ 
but who he was, and how he was to be found, were to him the 
great questions. He was first snatched from the night of un- 
certainty by Neoplatonism : the Manichaean notion of God had 

1 Compare even the state of feeling of Petrarch and the other Humanists. 

s Soliloq., I. 7. Deam et animam scire capio. Nihilne plus? Nihil omnino. In 
the knowledge of God was also included that of the Cosmus, see Scipio, Metaphysik, 
p. 14 fT. 

^ Playing with husks and shells disgusted Augustine ; he longed for facts, for the 
knowledge of actual forces. 

^ Augustine became a Manichsean because he did not get past the idea tliat the 
Catholic doctrine held God to be the originator of sin. 

5 Confess., VII. 16 : " Audivi (verba Ego sum qui sum) sicut auditur in corde, et 
non erat prorsus unde dubitarem ; faciliusque dubitarem vtvere me, quam non esse 
veritatem (VI., 5). 


proved itself to be false, since its God was not absolute and 
omnipotent Neoplatonism had shown him a way by which to 
escape the flux of phenomena, and the mysterious and harassing 
play of the transient, to reach the fixed resting-point he sought, 
and to discover this in the absolute and spiritual God (Confess. 
VI I., 26 : " incorporea Veritas"). Augustine traversed this ascend- 
ing path from the corporeal world through ever higher and more 
permanent spheres, and he also experienced the ecstatic mood 
in the " excess " of feeling.^ But at the same time he turned 
more energetically to those observations for which the Neoplaton- 
ists had only been able to give him hints — to his spiritual ex- 
f)erience, and psychological analysis. He was saved from 
scepticism by perceiving that even if the whol6 of external 
experience was subject to doubt, the facts of the inner life re- 
mained and demanded an explanation leading to certainty. 
There is no evil, but we are afraid, and this fear is certainly an 
evil.* There is no visible object of faith, but we see faith in 
\xs? Thus — in his theory of perception — God and the soul 
entered into the closest union, and this union confirmed him in 

^Suggestions in Confess., VII. 13-16, 23. Here is described the intellectual 
** exercise " of the observation of the mutabilia leading to the incommutabile. *' Et 
perrenit cogitatio ad id quod est, in tctu trepidantis aspectus. Tunc vero invisibilia 
tua, per ea quae facta sunt, intellecta conspexi (this now becomes his dominant saying); 
sed aciemfigere non valui : et repercussa infirmitate redditus solitis, non mecum ferebam 
nisi amantem memoriam et quasi olfacta desiderantem (quite as in Plotinus) quse 
comedere nondum possem," VIII. i. But again in his famous dialogue (IX. 23-25), 
with hu mother in Ostia, a regular Neoplatonic ** exercise" is really described which 
ends with ecstasy (attigimus veritatem modice toto ictu cordis"). We afterwards 
meet extremely seldom with anything of the same kind in Augustine ; on the other 
hand, the anti-Manichiean writings still show many echoes (" se rapere in deum," 
•* rapi in deum," ** volitare," •* amplexus dei "). Renter says rightly (p. 472) that 
these are unusual expressions, only occurring exceptionally. But he must have for- 
gotten the passages in the Confessions when he adds that no instructions are given 
as to the method to be followed. 

'Confess., VII. 7 : *' Ubi ergo malum et unde et qua hue irrepsit? Quae radix 
ejus et quo semen ejus ? Aq omnino non est ? Cur ergo timemus et cavemus quod 
non est ? Aut si inaniter timemus, certe vel timor ipse malum est . . . et tanto 
gravius malum, quanto non est quod timeamus. Idcirco aut est malum quod timemus^ 
aut hoe malum est quia timemus,** 

'De trinit., XIII. 3: "Cum propterea credere jubeamur, quia id quod credere 
jabemur, videre non possumus^ ipsam tamen fidem, quando inest in nobii^, videmus 
in nobis." 


his belief in their metaphysical connection. Henceforth the in- 
vestigation of the life of the soul was to him a theological 
necessity. No examination seemed to him to be indifferent; 
he sought to obtain divine knowledge from every quarter. The 
command to " know thyself" (Fi/wSc (reavrov) became for him 
the way to God. We cannot here discuss the wealth of psycho- 
logical discoveries made by him.^ But he only entered his 
proper element when he was inquiring into the practical side of 
spiritual life. The popular conception, beyond which even 
philosophers had not advanced far, was that man was a rational 
being who was hampered by sensuousness, but possessed a free 
will capable at every moment of choosing the good — a very 
external, dualistic view. Augustine observed the actual man. 
He found that the typical characteristic of the life of the soul 
consisted /// the effort to obtain pleasure^ (cupido, amor) ; from 
this type no one could depart. It was identical with the striv- 
ing to get possessions, enjoyment. As the attempt to attain 
the pleasant it was desire (libido), cupiditas, and was perfected 
in joy ; as resistance to the unpleasant, it was anger (ira), fear 
(timor), and was completed in sadness (tristitia). All impulses 
were only evolutions of this typical characteristic ; sometimes 
they partook more of the form of passive impression, sometimes 
they were more of an active nature, and they were quite as true 
of the spiritual as of the sensuous life? 

According to Augustine, the will is most closely connected 
with this life of impulse, so that impulses can indeed be con- 
ceived as contents of the will, yet it is to be distinguished from 
them. For the will is not bound to the nexus of nature ; it is a 
force existing above sensuous nature.* It is free, in so far as it 

1 As regards memory, association of ideas, synthetic activity of spontaneous thought, 
ideality of the categories, a priori functions, " detenninant " numbers, synthesis of 
reproduction in the imagination, etc. Of course all this is only touched on by him ; 
we have, as it were, merely flashes of it in his works ; see Siebeck, l.c. p. 179. He 
has applied his observations on self-consciousness in his speculation on the Trinity. 

3 He meant by this the legitimate striving after self-assertion, after Beings which 
he attributed to all organic, nay, even to inorganic, things ; see De civ. dci, XL, 28, 

> This is the most important advance in perception. 

4 See Siebeck l.c. p. 181 f. ; Hamma in the Tub. Theol. Quartalschr., vol. 55, 
pp. 427 if. 458 ; Kahl, Primal des Wiliens, p. I £. Augustine's psychology of the 


possesses formally the capacity of following or resisting the 
various inclinations; but concretely it is never free; that is, 
never free choice (liberum arbitrium), but is always conditioned 
by the chain of existing inclinations, which form its motives and 
determine it The theoretical freedom of choice therefore only . 
becomes actual freedom when desire (cupiditas, amor) of goodr/ 
has become the ruling motive of the will ; in other vVords, // is 
only true of a good will that it is free : freedom of will and moral 
goodness coincide. But it follows just from this that the will J 
truly free possesses its liberty not in caprice, but in being bound 
to the motive which impels to goodness ("beata necessitas 
boni "). This bondage is freedom, because it delivers the will 
from the rule of the impulses (to lower forms of good), and \/ 
realises the destiny and design of man to possess himself of true 
being and life. In bondage to goodness the higher appetite 
(appetitus), the genuine impulse of self-preservation, realises 
itself, while by satisfaction " in dissipation " it brings man " bit 
by bit to ruin." It does not follow, however, from Augustine's 
assertion of the incapacity for good of the individual spontaneous 
will, that the evil will, because it is not free, is also irresponsible ; 
for since the will is credited with the power of yielding to 
the love of good (amor boni), it is guilty of the neglect (the 

From this point Augustine, combining the results of Neo- 
platonic cosmological speculation with the above analysis, now 
built up his metaphysic, or more correctly, his theology. But 
since in the epoch in which he pursued these observations, he 
turned to the asceticism of Catholic monachism, and also studied 
profoundly the Psalms (and the Pauline epistles), the simple 
grandeur of his living notion of God exerted a tremendous 
influence on his speculations, and condensed the different, and 
in part artificially obtained, elements of his doctrine of God,^ 
again and again into the supremely simple confession: "The 

will is undoubtedly rooted in indetenninism ; but in his concrete observations he 
becomes a determinist. 

1 They have all besides a practical object, f>., they correspond to a definite form 
cf the fious contemplation of the divine, and a definite relation to it (a definite self- 
criticism). For details of the theology, see Domer, Augustin, pp. 5-1 12. 



Lord of heaven and earth is love; He is my salvation; of whom 
should I be afraid ? " 

By the Neoplatonic speculation of the ascent [of the soul] 
Augustine reached the supreme unchangeable, permanent Being/ 
the incorporeal truth, spiritual substance, incommutable and 
true eternity of truth, the light incommutable' (incorporea 
Veritas, spiritalis substantia, incommutabilis et vera veritatis 
aetemitas, the lux incommutabilis). Starting with this, every- 
thing which was not God, including his own soul, was examined 
by Augustine from two points of view. On the one hand, it 

V appeared as the absolutely transient, therefore as non-existent ; 
for no true being exists, whefe^ there is also not-being; therefore 
God exists alone (God the only substance). On the other hand, 
as far as it possessed a relative existence, it seemed good, very 

\^/good, as an evolution of the divine being (the many as the em- 
bodiment, emanating, and ever-returning, of the one). Augustine 
never tires of realising the beauty (pulchrum) and fitness (aptum) 
of creation, of regarding the universe as an ordered work of art, 
in which the gradations are as admirable as the contrasts. The 
individual and evil are lost to view in the notion of beauty ; nay, 
God himself is the eternal, the old and new, the only, beauty. 
Even hell, the damnation of sinners, is, as an act in the ordina- 
tion of evils (ordinatio malorum), an indispensable part of the 
work of art^ But, indeed, the whole work of art is after 

^ In Confess. VH. i6, he could now put the triumphant question : " Numquid nihil 
•est Veritas, quoniam neque per finita, neque per infinita locoram spatia diffusa est." 

^ Not common light ; " non hoc ilia erat ; sed aliud, aliud valde ab istis omnibus. 
Nee ita erat supra mentem meam sicut oleum super aquam, nee sicut coelum super 
terram, sed superior, quia ipsa fecit me, et ego inferior, quia factus sum ab ea. Qui 
novit veritatem novit earn, et qui novit earn, novit setemitatem. Caritas novit earn. O 
aetema Veritas, et vera caritas, et cara setemitas ! tu es deus meus ; tibi suspiro die 
ac nocte." (Confess. VII. i6.) Further the magnificently reproduced reflection, 
I X. 23-25, De Trin. IV. I. By being, Augustine did not understand a vacuous ex- 
istence, but being full of life, and he never doubted that being was better than not- 
being. De civiL dei, XI. 26 : " Et sumus et nos esse novimus et id esse ac nos$e 
diligimus." The triad, "esse, scire, amare" was to him the supreme thing ; he 
never thought of the possibility of glorifying not-being after the fashion of Buddhism 
or Schopenhauer. 

* We cannot here discuss Augustine's cosmology more fiilly (see the works by 
Gangauf and Scipio). His reflections on life and the gradation of organic and in- 
organic ('*ordo, species, modus ") were highly important to later philosophy and 


all — nothing; a likeness,, but ah! only a likeness of the 
infinite fulness of the one which alone exists. How deeply 
in earnest Augustine was with this acosmic Pantheism, which 
threatened to degenerate into cosmic Monism, how he never 
wholly abandoned it, is shown even by the expression ** pulchri- 
tudo** (beauty) for God,^ by his doctrine of predestination, 
which has one of its roots here, and, finally, by the aesthetic 
optimism of his view of the world which comes out here and 
there even in his latest writings,* and by his uncertainty as to 
the notion of creation.* But the very fact that, as a rule, 
Augustine was governed by a wholly different temper is a guar- 
antee that the element here obtained was only a grounding to 
which he applied new colours. He would not have been the 
reformer of Christian piety if he had only celebrated, albeit in 
the most seductive tones,* that Neoplatonic notion of God, 
which, indeed, ultimately rested on a pious natural sentiment. 

The new elements resulted first from the psychological 
analysis briefly indicated above. He found in man, as the 
fundamental form of existence, the desire to reach happiness, 

theology, and especially continued to exert an influence in mediaeval mysticism. So 
also the view that evil and good are necessary elements in the artistic composition of 
the world continued to make its presence actively felt in the same quarter. Yet — as 
in Augustine — the idea of the privative significance of evil always preponderated. 

1 This expression is frequent in all his writings. Even utterances like '' vita vitse 
meae," etc., have at first an acosmic meaning, but, of course, were given a deeper 
sense by Augustine. 

s Augustine never lost his optimistic joy in life in the sense of the true life, as is 
proved in his work, De civit. dei ; but in contrasting the moods caused by contem- 
plation of the world — aesthetic joy in the Cosmus, and sorrow over the world per- 
verted by sin — the latter prevailed. Existence never became to Augustine a torment 
in itself, but that existence did which condemned itself to not-being, bringing about 
its own ruin. 

' Where Augustine put the question of creation in the form, ** How is the unity of 
being related to plurality of manifestation ? " the notion of creation is really always 
eliminated. But he never entirely gave up this way of putting the question ; for, at 
bottom, things possess their independence only in their manifestation, while, in so 
far as they exists they form the ground of knowledge for the existence of God. But 
besides this, Augustine still asserted vigorously the creatio ex nihilo (*' omnes naturae 
ex deo, non de deo,'* Denat. bon. c. Manich., I.). See note 4, p. 120. 

4 He discovered these, and inspired hundreds of mystics after him. We have no 
right to deny that this contemplative view of being, not-being, and the harmony of 
being evolving itself in the phenomenal, is also a sphere of piety. 


goods, beings and he could harmonise this desire excellently 
with his Neoplatonic doctrine. He farther found the desire to 
obtain an ever higher happiness, and ever loftier forms of good, 
an inexhaustible and noble longing, and this discovery also 
agreed with the doctrine. Unrest, hunger and thirst for God, 
horror and disgust at the enjoyment of lower kinds of good, 
were not to be stifled ; for the soul, so far as it exists^ comes 
certainly from God, and belongs to Him (ex deo and ad deum). 
But now he discovered a dreadful fact : the willy as a matter of 
fact^ would not what it woiild^ or at least seemed to wilL No, it 
was no seeming ; it was the most dreadful of paradoxes ; we 
will to come to God, and we cannot, /.^., we will not^ Augustine 
felt this state along with the whole weight of responsibility; that 
responsibility was never lessened for him by the view that the 
will in not seeking God was seeking nothing, that it therefore by 
self-will was properly "annulling itself until it no longer existed.** 
Nor was it mitigated for him by the correlative consideration, that 
the individual will, ruled by its desire, was not free. Rather, 
from the dread sense of responsibility, God appeared as the good^ 

1 We have the most profound description of this state in Confess. VIII. 17-26 ; 
Augustine calls it a *' monstrum " (monstrous phenomenon). He solves the problem 
disclosed, in so far as it is capable of solution, not by an appeal to the enslaved will, 
accordingly not by the " non possumus," but as an indeterminist by ihe reflection, 
•*non ex toto volumus, non ergo ex toto [nobis] imperamus." (21), •*! was 
afraid that Thou mightest soon hear me, and heal me of the sickness of lust, whose 
satisfaction I wished more than its eradication. . . . And I was deluded, therefore I 
put off following Thee alone from day to day, because I had not yet seen any certain 
aim for my striving. And now the day was at hand, and the voice of my conscience 
exhorted me : * Didst thou not say thou wouldst not cast the vain burden from 
thee, only because the truth was still uncertain ? Behold now thou art certain of ihe 
truths but (thou wilt not).* . . . The way to union with God, and the attainment of 
the goal, coincide with the will to reach this goal^ though, indeed, only with the 
determined and pure will. . . . And thus during this inner fever and irresoluteness I 
was wont to make many movements with my body, which can only be performed 
when the will makes definite resolves, and become impossible if the corresponding 
limbs are wanting, or are fettered, worn out, asleep, or hindered in any way. If, 
e.g.j I tore a hair out, beat my brow, or embraced my knee with folded hands, I did 
it because I willed it. But I might have willetl and not done it, if the power of 
motion in my limbs had forsaken me. So many things, then, I did in a sphere, 
where to will was not the same as to be able. And yet I did not that which both I 
longed incomparably more to do, and which I could do whenever I really earnestly 
willed it ; because^ as soon as 1 had willed it^ I had really already made it mine tn 
willing. For in these things the ability was one with the will, and really to revive 


and the self-seeking life of impulse, which determined the will 
and gave its motive, constituted eviL The " summum bonum " 
now first obtained its deeper meaning — it was no longer merely 
the permanent resting point for disturbed thinkers, or the 
exhilarating enjoyment of life for jaded mortals : it now meant 
that which ought to be} that which should be the fundamental 
motive ruling the will, should give the will its liberty, and 
therewith for the first time its power over the sphere of the 
natural, freeing the inexhaustible longing of man for the good 
from the dire necessity of sinning (misera necessitas peccandi), 
and accordingly first making that innate longing effectual. In 
a word, it now meant the good. And thus the notion of the 
good itself was divested of all accretions from the intellect, and 
all eudaimonist husks and wrappings. In this contemplation 
that overpowered him, the sole object was the good will, the 
moral imperative vitalised, to renounce selfish pleasure. But at 
the same time he acquired the experience which he himself 
could not analyse, which no thinker will undertake to analyse, 
that this good laid hold of him as love, and snatched him from 

was to do. And yet, in my case, it was not done ; and more readily did my body 
obey the weakest willing of my soul, in moving its limbs at its nod, than the soul 
obeyed itself where it was called upon to realise its great desire by a simple effort of the 
will. How is such a prodigy possible, and what is its reason ? The soul commands 
the body, and it obeys instantly ; the soul commands itself, and is resisted. The 
soul commands the hand to be moved, and it is done so promptly that command and 
performance can scarcely be distinguished ; and yet the soul is spirit, but the hand is 
a member of the body. The soul commands the soul itself to an act of will ; it is its 
own command, yet it does not carry it out. How is such a prodigy possible, and 
what is its reason ? The soul commands an act of will, I say ; its command consists 
simply in willing ; and yet that command is not carried out. Sed non ex toto vult ; 
nan ergo ex toto imperat* Nam in tantum imperat, in quantum vult, et in tantum non 
fit quod imperat, in quantum non vult. Quoniam voluntas imperat ut sit voluntas, 
nee alia sed ipsa. Non itaque plena imperat ideo fton est quod imperat. Nam si 
plena esset^ nee imperaret ut esset, quia Jam esset. Non igitur monstrum partim velle, 
partim nolle, sed segritudo animi est, quia non totus assurgit, veritate sublevatus, 
consuetudine prsegravatus. £t ideo sunt duae voluntates, quia una earum tota non 
est, et hoc adest altcri quod deest alteri." 

1 «< What ought to be? How cannot the inner nature exhibit itself by reflection, 
but can by action?" (Scipio, Metaphysik des Aug., p. 7.) Augustine was the first 
to put this question clearly. '* Antiquity conceived the whole of life, we might say, 
in a naive fashion from the standpoint of science : the spiritual appeared as natural, 
and virtue as a natural force. 



the misery of the monstrous inconsistency of existence.^ 
Thereby the notion of God received a wholly new content: 
the good which could do that was omnipotent. In the one act of 
liberation was given the identity of omnipotent being and the 
good, the summum ov {supreme being) was holiness working on the 
\j^ill in the/onn of omnipotent love. This was what Augustine 
felt and described. A stream of divine conceptions was now 
set loose, partly given in the old language, but with a meaning 
felt for the first time, wonderfully combined with the statement 
of the philosophical knowledge of God, but regulating and 
transforming it. The Supreme Being (summum esse) is the 
Supreme Good ; He is a person ; the ontological defect of 
creaturely being becomes the moral defect of godlessness of 
will ; evil is here as there negative ; * but in the former case it 
is the negation of substance (privatio substantias), in the 
latter that of good (privatio boni), meaning the defect 
arising from freedom. The good indeed still remains 

1 Augustine indeed could further explain why the form, in which the good takes 
possession of and delivers the soul, must consist in the infusion of love. So long as 
the soul along with its will is confronted by duty (an ought), and commands itself to- 
obey, it has not completely appropriated the good; *'nam si plena esset, nee 
imperaret ut esset, quia jam esset" (Confess. VHI. 21). Accordingly, the fact that 
it admits the duty, does not yet create an effective will ex tote. It must accordingly 
so love what it ought, that it no longer needs command itself; nay, duty (the 
ought) must be its only love ; only then is MpUna in voluntatt bona. The ** abyssus 
corruptionis nostras " is only exhausted when by love we " totum illud, quod vole> 
bamus nolumus et totum illud, quod deus vult, volumus (Confess. IX. i). 

' Confess. VII. 18 : '* Malum si substantia esset, bonum esset. Aut enim esset 
incorruptibilis substantia, magnum utique bonum ; aut substantia corruptibilis esset, 
quae nisi bona esset, corrumpi non posset." But since evil thus always exists in a 
good substance (more accurately : springs from the bad will of the good substance), 
it is absolutely inexplicable ; see e.g,^ De civitat. dei, XII. 7 : '' Nemo igitur quserat 
efficientem causam malae voluntatis ; non enim est efHciens sed deficiens (that is, the 
aspiration after nothing, after the annulling of life, constitutes the content of the bad 
will), quia nee ilia eflfectio sed defectio. Deficere namque ab eo, qnod summe est, ad 
id, quod minus est, hoc est incipere habere voluntatcm malam. Causas poiro- 
defectionum istarum, cum efficientes non sint, ut dixi, sed deficientes, velle invenire 
tale est, ac si quisquam velit videre tenebras vel audire silentium, quod tamen utrum- 
que nobis notum est, neque illud nisi per oculos, neque hoc nisi per aures, non sane 
in specie, sed in speciei privatione. Nemo ergo ex me scire quaerat, quod me nescire 
sdo, nisi forte, ut nescire discat, quod scire non posse sciendum est. £a quippe 
quse non in specie, sed in ejus privatione sciuntur, si dici aut intellegi potest 
quodammodo nesciendo sciuntur, ut sciendo nesciaotur." 


the divine being as fulness of life ; but for man it is summed 
up in the *' common morality " which issues from the divine 
being and divine love. That is, he cannot appropriate it save 
in the will, which gladly forsakes its old nature, and loves that 
which dwells above all that is sensuous and selfish. Nothing is 
good except a good will: this principle was most closely combined 
by Augustine with the other: nothing is good but God; and 
love became for him the middle term. For the last and highest 
point reached in his knowledge was his combination of the 
thought that ** all substance was from God"(omnis substantia 
a deo) with the other that "all good was" from God (omne 
bonum a deo). The conception of God as universal and 
sole worker, shaded into the other that God, just because 
he is God and source of all being, is also the only author 
and source of good in the form of self-imparting love.^ 
It belongs just as essentially to God to be grace (gratia) 
imparting itself in love, as to be the uncaused cause of causes 
(causa causatrix non causata). If we express this anthropo- 
logically : goodness does not make man independent of God — 
that was the old conception — but in goodness the constant 
natural dependence of all his creatures on God finds expression 
as a willed dependence securing the existence of the creaturely 
spirit. The latter only exists in yielding himself, only lives in 
dying, is only free when he suffers himself to be entirely ruled 1 
by God, is only good if his will is God's wilL These are the 
grand paradoxes with which he contrasted the ** monstrous " 
paradoxes discussed above. But meanwhile there is no mistake 
that the metaphysical backgrounds everywhere shnws in the ^-^ 
et hical view ; it is seen, first, in the ascetic trait which clings to 

1 Augustine says of love (De civ. XI. 28), that we not only love its objects, but 
itself. "Amor amatur, et hinc probamus, quod in hominibus, qui rectius amantur, 
ipse magis amatur." This observation led him to see God everywhere in love. As 
God is in all being, so is he also in love ; nay, his existence in being is ultimately 
identical with his existence in love. Therefore love is beginning, middle, and end. 
It is the final object of theological thought, and the fundamental form of true spiritual 
life. '* Caritas incboata inchoata justitia est ; caritas provecta provecta justitia est ;. 
caritas magna magna justitia est ; caritas perfecta perfecta justitia est'' (De nat. et 
grat. 84). But since in life in general voluntas = caritas (De trin. XV. 38) : *'quid 
est alittd caritas quam voluntas ? ", we here find once more the profound connection 
between ethics and psychology. 


the notion of the good in spite of its simple form (joy in God) ; 
secondly, in uncertainty as to the notion of love, into which an 
intellectual element still enters ; thirdly^ in the conception of 
grace (gratia), which appears not infrequently as the almost 
natural mode of the divine existence. 

The instruction how to hold communion with God displays 
still more clearly the interweaving of metaphysical and ethical 
views, that wonderful oscillation, hesitancy, and wavering be- 
' tween the intellectual and that which lives and is experienced 
' in the depths of the soul.^ On the one hand, it is required to 
enjoy God ; nay, he is the only '* thing " (res) which may be 
enjoyed, all else may only be used. But to enjoy means " to 
cling to anything by love for its own sake " (alicui rei amore 
inhaerere propter se ipsam ").* God is steadfastly to be enjoyed 
— the Neoplatonists are reproached with not reaching this.* 
This enjoying is inseparably connected with the thought of 
God's " beauty," and in turn with the sense that he is all in all 
and indescribable.^ But, on the other hand, Augustine thrust 

^Augustine's ability to unite the Neoplatonic ontolbgical speculation with the 
results of his examination of the practical spiritual life was due inter alia especially 
to his complete abstinence, in the former case, from accepting ritualistic elements, or 
from introducing into his speculation matter taken from the Cullus and the religion 
of the second order. If at first the stage of spiritual development which he occupied 
(when outside the Church), of itself protected him from admitting these deleterious 
elements, yet it was a conspicuous and hitherto unappreciated side of his greatness 
that he always kept clear of ritualistic mysticism. Thereby he rendered an invaluable 
service not only to his disciples in mysticism, but to the whole Western Church. 

3De doctr. christ., I., 3 sq. 

'See Confess., VII. 24: "et qaeerebam viam comparandi roboris quod esset 
idoneum ad fruendum te, etc," 26 : **certus quidem in istis eram, nimis tamen in- 
firmus ad fruendum te." 

^ Augustine has often repeated the old Platonic assertion of the impossibility of de- 
fining the nature of God, and that not always with a feeling of dissatisfaction, but as 
an expression of romantic satisfaction (" ineffabilis simplex natura" ; *' facilius dicimus 
quid non sit, quam quod sit "). He contributed much, besides, to the relative eluci- 
dation of negative definitions and of properties and accidents, and created scholastic 
terminology ; see especially De trinit., XV. He is the father of Western theological 
dialectic ; but also the inventor of the dialectic of the pious consciousness. From the 
anti-Manichaean controversy sprang the desire to conceive all God's separate attributes 
as identical, f.^., the interest in the indivisibility of God — God is essence, not sub- 
stance ; for the latter cannot be thought of without accidents ; see De trinit, VII., 
10 ; and this interest went so far as to hold that even habere and esse coincided in 
God (De civ., XI. 10 : '*ideo simplex dicitur quoniam quod habet hoc est"). In 


aside the thought that God was a substance (res) in the interest 
of a living communion with him. God was a person, and in 
the phrase ** to cleave by love " (" amore inhaerere ") the em- 
phasis falls in that case on the love (amor) which rests on faith 

order to guard God from corruptibilitas^ compositeness of any sort was denied. But, 
at this point, Au(;u.stine had, nevertheless, to make a distinction in God, in order to 
discriminate the divine world-plan from him, and not to fall completely into Pan- 
theism. (The latter is stamped on many passages in the work De trinit., see e,g,^ 
IV., 3, '*Quia nnum verbum dei est, per quod facta sunt omnia, quod est incom- 
mutabilis Veritas, ibi principaliter atque incommutabiliter sunt omnia simul, et omnia 
vita sunt et omnia unum sunt.") But since he always harked to the conviction that 
being, and wisdom, and goodness, are identical in God, he did not reach what he 
aimed at. This difficulty increased still further for him, where he combined specu- 
lation as to the nature of God with that regarding the Trinity. (Domer, p. 22 ff.) 
It is seen most clearly in the doctrine of the divine world-plan. It always threatens 
to submerge the world in the Son as a unity, and to take away its difference (it is 
wrong, however — ^at least for the period after c, a.d. 400 — to say conversely that 
the intelligible world is for Augustine identical with the Son, or is the Son). The 
vacillation is continued in the doctrine of creation. But Domer (p. 40 f. ) is wrong 
when he says : *' Augustine had no conception as yet that the notion of causality, 
clearly conceived, is sufficient to establish the distinction between God and the world." 
Augustine had undoubtedly no such conception, but this time it is not he, but Domer, 
who shows his simplicity. The notion of causality, ** clearly conceived," can never 
establish a distinction, but only a transformation. If he had meant to give expression 
to the former, he required to introduce more into the cause than the effect ; that is, 
it was necessary to furnish the cause with properties and powers which did not pass 
into the causatum (effect). But this already means that the scheme of cause and 
effect is inadequate to establish the difference. Augustine, certainly, had no clear 
conception of such a thing ; but he felt that mere causality was useless. He adopted 
the expedient of calling in *' nihil " (nothing) to his aid, the negation : God works in 
nothing. This ''nothing" was the cause of the world not l)eing a transformation 
or evolution of God, but of its appearing as an inferior or irridescent product, which, 
because it is a divina operation exists (yet not independently of God), and which, so 
far as independent, does not exist, since its independence resides in the nihiL The 
sentence *' mundus de nihilo a deo factus " — the root principle of Augustinian cosmo- 
logy — is ultimately to be taken dualistically ; but the dualism is concealed by the 
second element consisting in negation, and therefore only revealing itself in the 
privative form (of mutability, transitoriness). But in the end the purely negative 
character of the second element cannot be absolutely retained (Augustine never,'cer- 
tainly, identified it with matter); it purported to be absolute impotence, but com- 
bined with the divine activity it became the resisting factor, and we know how it does 
resist in sin. Accordingly, the question most fatal to Augustine would have been : 
PVAa created this nothing ? As a matter of fact this question breaks down the whole 
construction. Absurd as it sounds, it is justified. Augustine cannot explain negation 
with its determinative power existing side by side with the divina operaiio; for it is 
no explanation to say that it did not exist at all, since it merely had negative effects. 


(fides), and includes hope (spes). " God to be worshipped 
with faith, hope, and love ('* Fide, spe, caritate colendum 
deum").^ Augustine was so strongly possessed by the feeling, 
never, indeed, clearly formulated, that God is a person whom we 
must trust and love, that this conviction was even a latent 
standard in his Trinitarian speculations.* Faith, hope, and love 
had, in that case, however, nothing further to do with *' free- 
dom " in the proper sense of the word. They were God's gifts^ 
and constituted a spiritual relation to Him, from which sprang 
good resolves (bonum velle) and righteousness (justitia). But, 
indeed, whenever Augustine looked from this life to eternal life, 
the possession of faith, love, and hope assumed a temporary 
aspect. " But when the mind has been imbued with the com- 
mencement of faith which works by love, it aspires by a good 
life to reach the manifestation in which holy and perfect hearts 
perceive the ineffable beauty whose complete vision is the highest 
felicity. This is surely what thou requirest, *what is to be 
esteemed the first and the last thing,' to begin withfaithy to be 
perfected in sight'' (Enchir. 5 ; see De doctr., II. 34 sq.).* Cer- 
tain as it is that the Neoplatonic tendency comes out in this, it 
is as certain that we have more than a mere " remnant of 
mystical natural religion " ; for the feeling that " presses up- 
ward and forward " from the faith in what is not seen, to the 

Yet theory, sometimes acosmic, sometimes dualistic, in form, is everywhere corrected 
in Augustine, whether by the expression of a wise nescience, or by faith in God as 
Father. The criticism here used has been attacked by Loofs (R.-Encypl. 3, Vol. II., 
p. 271). We have to admit that it goes more deeply into the reason of his views than 
Augustine's words require. But I do not believe that the statement given by Loofis- 
is adequate : " God so created his creatures from nothing that some are less fair» 
less good than others, and, therefore, have lef^s being (esse)." Could Augustine have 
actually contented himself with these facts without asking whence this '* less " ? 

1 Enchirid. 3. 

* See Vol. iV., p. 129 ff. I do not enter further into the doctrine of the 
Trinity, but remark that the term " tres persons " was very fatal to Augustine, 
and that all his original efforts in dealing with the Trinity lead away from cos- 
mical and hypercosmical plurality to conceptions that make it express inner, spiritual 
self- movement in the one God. 

> Cum autem initio fidei quae per dilectionem operatur imbuta mens fiierit, tendit 
bene vivendo etiam ad speciem pervenire, ubi est Sanctis et perfectis cordibus nota 
ineffabilis pukhritudo^ cujut plena visio est summa felicitas. Hoc est nimirum quod 
requiris, *'quid primum, quid ultimum teneatur," tfuhoari fide^ perfici specie. 


seeing of what is believed, is not only the innate germ of 
religion, but its enduring stimulus.^ The idea of the world 
sketched from contemplation of the inner life and the sense of 
responsibility, which was combined with that of metaphysical 
cosmological speculation, led finally to a wholly different state 
of feeling from the latter. The optimism founded on aesthetics 
vanished before the " monstrum " of humanity which, infirm of | 
will, ^ willed not and did not what at bottom it desired, and fell 
into the abyss of perdition. They are only a few who suffer 
themselves to be saved by grace. The mass is a massa perdu 
tionis, which death allures. " Woe is thee, thou torrfent of 
human custom ! Who shall stop thy course } How long will 
it be before thou art dried up ? and whom wilt thou, O offspring 
of Eve, roll into the huge and hideous ocean, which even they 

^ We may here touch briefly on the question several limes recently discussed, as to 
the supremacy of the will in Augustine. Kahl has maintained it. But Siebeck (I.e. 
183 f.) has with reason rejected it ; (see also my notice of Kahl's book in the ThLZ., 
1886, No. 25) ; and Kahl has himself to admit *' that at the last stage of knowledge 
Neoptatonic intellectualism, which explains volition away in view of thought, has 
frequently traversed the logical consequences of Augustine's standpoint." But it is 
just the last stage that decides. On the other hand, Kahl is quite right in apprecia- 
ting so highly the importance of the will in Augustine. The kernel of our nature 
exists indisputably according to Augustine in our will ; therefore, in order that the 
Veritas, the scire deum et animam may be able to obtain supremacy, and become, as 
it were, the unique function of man, the will must be won on its behalf. This takes 
place through God's grace, which leads the soul to will and love spiritual truth, 1.^., 
God. Only now is it rendered possible for the intellect to assume supremacy. 
Accordingly the freeing of the will is ultimately the substitution of the supremacy of 
the intellect for that of the will, (Compare, ^.^., the passage Confess. IX. 24: 
'* regio ubertatis indeficientis, ubi pascis Israel in SBternura veritatis pabulo, et ubi 
vita sapientia est^^ ; but for this life it holds true that '* sapientia hominis pietas.") 
Yet in so far as the supremacy of the intellect could not maintain itself without the 
amor essendi et sciendi,\\Mt'^\^ remains the co-efficient of the intellect even in the 
highest sphere. That is, briefly, Augustine's view of the relation of the will and 
intellect. It explains why the return to Augustine in the Middle Ages brought about 
the complete subordination of the intellect to the will ; for Augustine himself so pre- 
sented the case that no inner state and no activity of thought existed apart from the 
will. But if that were so, Augustine's opinion, that the vision (visio) of God was the 
supreme goal, could not but in the end pass away. It was necessary to demon- 
strate a goal which corresponded to the assured fact that man was will (see Duns 

« Sec De civit. dei, XIV. 3 sq. ; it is not the body (sensuousness) that is the ulti- 
mate cause of sin. 


scarcely overpass who have climbed the tree [the Church]?"^ 
The misery of the earth is unspeakable ; whatever moves and 
cherishes an independent life upon it is its own punishment ; 
for he who decreed sins (the ordinator peccatorum) has 
ordained that every sin judges itself, that every unregulated 
spirit is its own punishment ^ 

But from the beginning the historical Christian tradition 
penetrated with its influence the sequence of thoughts (on 
nature and grace), which the pious thinker had derived from his 
speculations on nature and his spiritual experience. Brought 
up from boyhood as a Catholic Christian, he has himself con- 
fessed that nothing ever satisfied him which did not bear the 
name of Christ* The description of the years when he 
wandered in doubt is traversed as with a scarlet cord by the 
bond that united him with Christ. Without many words, 
indeed with a modest reserve, he recalls in the Confessions the 
relation to Christ that had never died out in him, until in VI I. 
24 f, he can emphasise it strongly. We cannot doubt that even 
those expositions of his which are apparently indifferent to the 
Church traditions of Christianity — on the living personal God, 
the distinction between God and the world, on God as Creator, 
on grace as the omnipotent principle — were already influenced 
by that tradition. And we must remember that his intense 
study of Paul and the Psalms began whenever, having broken 

^ Confess. I. 25 : Vse tibi flumen moris humani ? quis resistet tibi ? quamdiu non 
siccaberis ? quosque volves £vae filius in mare magnum et formidolosum, quod vix 
transeunt qui lignum [ecclesiam] conscenderint ? 

s There is a wonderful contrast in Augustine between the profound pessimistic view 
of the world, and the conception, strictly held in theory, that everything takes place 
under the uniform and unchangeable activity of God. What a difference between 
the statement of the problem and the result ! And in order to remove this diflerence 
the metaphysician refers us to the — nothing. The course of the world is so confi- 
dently regarded as caused in whole and in detail by God, nay, is, as it were, taken 
up into the unchangeableness of God himself, that even miracles are only conceived 
to be events contrary to nature as known to us (Genes, ad lit. VI. 13 ; cf. De civ. 
X. 12 ; XXI. 1-8 ; nothing happens against nature ; the world is itself the greatest, 
nay, the sole miracle ; see Nitzsch, Aug's Lehre v. Wunder, 1865 ; Domer, p. 71 f.), 
and yet everything shapes itself into a vast tragedy. In this nothing there still indeed 
lurks in Augustine a part of Manichaeism ; but in his vital view of the world it is not 
the " nothing " which plays a part, but the sin of wicked pleasure — sclf-wilL 

• Confess. III. 8 ; V. 25 ; etc. 


with Manichaeism, he had been convinced by Neoplatonism 
that God was a spiritual substance (spiritalis substantia). Even 
the expositions in the earliest writings which are apparently 
purely philosophical, were already dominated by the Christian 
conviction that God, the world, and the Ego were to be 
distinguished, and that room was to be made for the distinction 
in mystical speculation. Further, all attempts to break through 
the iron scheme of God's unchangeableness (in his active 
presence in the world) are to be explained from the impression 
made by Christian history upon Augustine. 

However, we cannot here take in hand to show how Christ 
and the Church gradually obtained a fixed fundamental posi- 
tion in his mode of thought His reply to Laurentius in the 
Enchiridion, that " Christ is the sure and peculiar foundation of 
the Catholic faith," (certum propriumque fidei catholicae funda- 
mentum Christus est), would have been made in the same terms 
many years before, and, indeed, though his conceptions of Christ 
were then still uncertain, as early as about A.D. 387.^ Christy 
the way^ strength^ and authority^ explained for him the sig- 
nificance of Christ. It is very noteworthy that in the Confes- 
sions VII., 24 sq., and other passages where he brings the 
Christian religion into the question as to the first and last things, 
he does not produce general theories about revelation, but at 
once gives the central place to Christ and the Church.^ The 

1 See the avowals in Confess. VII. 25. 

' Naturally, general investigations are not wanting of the nature of revelation as a 
whole, its relation to ratio^ its stages (punishment of sin, law, prophecy), etc., but 
they have no secure connection with his dogmatics; they are dependant on the 
occasions that called them forth, and they are not clearly thought out. In any case, 
however, so many elements are found in them which conrfect them with Greek 
speculations, and in turn others which exerted a powerful influence at a later date 
(see Abelard), that one or two references are necessary (cf. Schmidt, Crigenes and 
Aug. als Apolegeten in the Jahrbb. f. deutsche Theol. VIII.; Bohringer, p. 204 ff.; 
Renter, p. 90 f., 350 ff., 400). Augustine occupies himself here, as always, with a 
problem whose factors ultimately do not admit of being reconciled. On the one 
hand, he never gave up the lofty appreciation of reason (ratio), of independent know- 
ledge, in which being and life are embraced. Originally (in his first period, after 
A.D. 386), although he had already seen the importance of atutoritas^ he set up as 
the goal of the ratio the overcoming of auctoriUts^ which required to precede it only 
for a time (De ord. II., 26, 27). " Ratio was to him the organ in which God reveals 
himself to man, and in which man perceives God.'' In after times this thought was 


two decisive principles on which he laid stress were that the 
Catholic Church alone introduces us into communion with 
Christ, and that it is only through communion with Christ 
that we participate in God's grace. That is, lu is only 

never given up ; but it was limited by the distinction between subjective and objective 
reason, by the increasing perception of the extent of the influence exerted on human 
reason by the will, by the assumption that one consequence of original sin was ignor- 
ance, and, finally, by the view that while knowledge, due to faith, would always be 
uncertain here below, the soul longed after the real, i.e,^ the absolute and absolutely 
sure, knowledge. The latter alone superseded ratio as the organ by which God is 
known, as guide to the vita beata; the other limitations were limitations pure and 
simple. And the constancy with which, in spite of these, Augustine at all times 
valued ratio is proved by those striking expositions, which occur in his earliest and 
latest writings, of Christianity as the disclosure of the one true religion which had 
always existed. The whole work De civitate dei is, indeed, built upon this thought 
— the civitas dei not being first created by the appearance of Christ — which, indeed, 
has two other roots l)estdes Rationalism, namely, the conception of the absolute 
immutability of God, and the intention to defend Christianity and its God against 
Neoplatonic and pagan attacks. (The first two roots, as can be easily shown, are 
reducible ultimately to one single conception. The apologetic idea is of quite a 
different kind. Christianity is held to be as old as the world, in order that the re- 
proach of its late arrival may fall to the ground. Here the wholly incongruous idea 
is introduced that Christians before Christ had believed on his future appearance:. 
Reuter has shown excellently (p. 90 ff.) how even the particularist doctrine of pre- 
destination has its share in the universalist and humanist conception ; he also deserves 
the greatest gratitude for collecting the numerous passages in which that conception 
is elaborated.) Even before the appearance of Christ the civitas ^^i existed ; to it be- 
longed pagans and Jews. Christianity is as old as the world. It is the natural religion 
which has existed from the beginning under various forms and names. Through Christ 
it received the name of the Christian religion ; '* res ipsa quae nunc Christiana religio 
nuncupatur, erat apud antiquos, nee defuit ab initio generis humani, quousque ipse Chris- 
tus venit in came, unde vera religio, quae jam erat, ccepit appellari Christiana*' (Retract. 
I» 12, 3) ; see especially £p. 102 and De civit. XVIII., 47, where the incongruous 
thought is inserted that the unus mediator was revealed to the heathens who belonged to 
the heavenly Jerusalem in the earliest time. The latter idea is by no means inserted 
everywhere ; there was rather up to the end of his life, in spite and because of his 
doctrine of particular predestinating grace, an undercurrent in Augustine's thought : 
co-ordinating God and free knowledge, he recognised behind the system of the 
Church a free science, and in accordance therewith conceived also God and the 
world to be the abiding objects of knowledge. With this idea, however, as in 
the case of Origen, Christ at once disappears. The ultimate reason of this consists 
in the fact that Augustine, with all his progress in knowledge, never cuhanced to 
history. The great psychologist was still blind to the nature of historical develop- 
ment, to what personality achieved in history, and what history had accomplished 
fur mankind. He had only two methods of observation at his disposal—- either the 
mythol<^cal contemplation of history, or a rationalistic neutralising. The man who 
felt so clearly and testified so convincingly that freedom lay in the change of will 


certain of tJu speculative conception of tlu idea of the good^ and its 
real activity as love wlun it is proclaimed authoritatively by the 
Church and supported by the conception of Christ, 

By the conception formed of Christ Here a new element 

when it received a strength binding us to the good, was yet incapable as a thinker of 
drawing clearly the consequences of this experience. Hut those should not blame 
him who cannot free themselves from the illusion that an absolute knowledge of 
some sort must be possible to roan ; for the effort to obtain such a knowledge 
is the ultimate cause of the inability to understand history as history. He 
who is only happy with absolute knowledge is cither blind to history, or it 
becomes a Medusa's head to him. Yet rationalism is only the undercurrent, though 
here and there it does force its way to the surface. More surely and more constantly 
Augustine appeased with revelation his hunger for the absolute, which he was unable 
to distinguish from aiming at force and strength (God and goodness). His feelings 
were the same as Faust's : " We long for revelation." Now, it is very characteristic 
that in dealing with the notion of revelation, Augustine has expounded nothing more 
clearly than the thought that revelation is absolutely authoritative. We can leave out 
of account his other views on its necessity, nature, etc. The decisive fact for him is 
that revelation does not merely recommend itself by its intrinsic worth. Accordingly, 
the external attestation is the main point. Augustine discussed this (especially in his 
work De civit. ) much more carefully and comprehensively than earlier Apologists, 
in order to establish the right to demand simple submission to the, contents of revelation, 
Auctoritcu zxA fides were inseparably connected; indeed, they occupied an almost 
exclasive relation to each other (see De util. cred., 25 sq.). We indeed find him 
explaining in his writings of all periods that authority is milk-food, and that, on the 
other hand, the demand in matters of religion for faith resting on authority is not 
exceptional, but that all the affairs of life of a deeper nature rest on such a faith. But 
these are simply sops to Cerberus. Man needs authority to discipline his mind, and to 
support a certainty not to be obtained elsewhere, Augustine was especially convinced 
of this as against heretics (Manichseans). Heathens he could refute to a certain 
extent from reason, heretics he could not But even apart from this, since the 
power which binds the will to God presented itself to him as the rock-fast conviction 
of the unseen, even the *' strong" could not dispense with faith in authority. The 
gradual progress from faith to knowledge, which was well-known to him ('* Every 
one who knows also believes, although not every one who believes knows,") was still 
a progress constantly accompanied by faith. The saying, '* fides prsecedit rationem," 
of which he has given so many variations (see e,g,^ Ep. 120, 2 sq.: " fides praecedit 
rationem," or paradoxically : '* rationabiliter visum est, ut fides praecedat rationem,*') 
did not signify a suspension of faith at the higher stages. Or, rather, and here the .SfV 
// Non holds good, Augustine was never clear about the relation of faith and 
knowledge ; he handed over this problem to the future. On the one hand he trusted 
ratio; but, on the other hand, he did not, relying only on God, and his Genius ruling 
in experience. Faith's authority was given for him in Scripture and the Church. 
Bat here, again, he only maintained and transmitted the disposition to obey, while 
.his theoretical expositions are beset by sheer contradictions and ambiguities ; for he 
has neither worked out the sufficiency, infallibility, and independence of Scripture, 
nor demonstrated the infidlibility of the Church, nor defined the relation of Scripture 


entered. Augustine supported, times without number, the old 
Western scheme of the twofold nature (utraque natura), the 
word and man one person (verbum et homo una persona) — 
(we may leave unnoticed the rare, inaccurate expressions 
"permixtio," "mixtura," e.g, Ep. 137, 11, 12), the form of 
God and form of a slave, and he contributed much to fortify 
this scheme in the West with its sharply defined division 
between what was done by the human, and what by the 
divine. But the unusual energy with which he rejected 
Apollinarianism — from his earliest to his latest writings — is 
enough to show tliat his deepest interest centred in the human 
soul of Jesus. The passages are extremely rare in which he 
adopts the same interpretation as Cyril of the confession : " the 
Word became flesh," and the doctrine of the deification of all 
human nature by the Incarnation is not represented, or, at any 
rate, only extremely doubtfully represented, by him. (Passages 
referring to it are not wholly awanting, but they arc extremely 
rare.) He rather explains the incarnation of the Word from 
another point of view, and accordingly, though he has points of 
contact with Origen, he describes it quite differently from the 
Greeks. Starting from the speculative consideration, to him a 
certainty, that it is always the whole Trinity that acts, and that 
its operation is absolutely invariable, the Incarnation was also a 
work of the whole Trinity. The Trinity produced the manifes- 
tation held to signify the Son (De trin. in many places). The 
Word (verbum) was not really more closely related than the 

and the Church. Sometimes Scripture is a court of appeal which owes its authority 
to the Church, sometimes the Church doctrine and all consuehuh are to be measured 
by Scripture (Scripture is the only source of doclrina Christiana)^ sometimes Church 
and Scripture are held to constitute one whole ; in one place the Church seems to 
find in the Council its infallible mouthpiece, in the other, the perfectibility of Councils 
themselves is maintained. " The idea of the Church's infallibility belongs to 
Augustine's popular Catholic presuppositions which grew out of his Catholic faith. 
It was never directly or expressly expounded by him, or dogmatically discussed. 
Therefore he cannot have felt the necessity of adjusting an exhaustive or precise 
doctrine regarding the legitimate form of the supreme representation of the Church 
b/ supposition infallible. This uncertainty and vagueness perhaps " (rather, indisput- 
ably) " spring from the vacillations of his thought regarding authority and reason, 
faith and knowledge *' (see Renter, pp. 345-358 » Bohringer, pp. 217-256; Domer, pp. 
233-244 ; further, above pp. 77-83f and Vol. III., p. 203 if.). 


whole Trinity to the Son. But since the Trinity could not act 
upon Jesus except as it always did, the uniqueness and power of 
the Person of Jesus Christ were to be derived from the receptive- 
ness with which the man Jesus met the operatio divina ; in other 
words, Augustine started from the human nature (soul) in his 
construction of the God-man. The human nature received the 
Word into its spirit ; the human soul, because it acted as inter- 
mediary (medians), was also the centre of the God-man. 
Accordingly, the Word did not become flesh, if that be taken to 
mean that a transformation of any sort took place, but the 
divina operatio trinitatis could so work upon the human spirit 
of Jesus, that the Word was permanently attached to him, and 
was united with him to form one person. ^ This receptiveness 
of Jesus was, as in all other cases, caused by the election of 
grace ; it was a gift of God (munus dei), an incomprehensible 
act of divine grace ; nay, it was the same divine grace that for- 
gives us our sins which led the man Jesus to form one person 
with the Word and made him sinless. The Incarnation thus J 
appeared simply to be parallel to the grace which makes us J 
willing who were unwilling, and is independent of every histori- 
cal fact"* 

^ The figure often used by Augustine that the Word was united with the man Jesus 
as our souls are with our bodies is absolutely unsuitable. Augustine borrowed it from 
antiquity without realising that it really conflicted with his own conception. 

2 Enchir., 36: "Hie omnino granditer et cvidenter dei gratia commendatur. 
Quid enim natura humana in homine Christi meruit ut in unitatem persons unici filii 
dei singulariter esset assumpta! Quae bona voluntas, cujus boni propositi ^tudium, 
quae bona opera praecesserunt, quibus mereretur iste homo una fieri persona cum deo ? 
Numquid antea fuit homo, et hoc ei singulare beneficium praestitum est, cum singu* 
lariter promereretur deum ? Nempe ex quo homo esse coepit. non aliud coepit esse 
homo quam dei filius : ct hoc unicus, et propter deum verbum, quod illo suscepto caro 
factum est, utique deus. . . . Unde naturae humanae tanta gloria, nullis praecedenti* 
bus mentis sine dubitatione gratuita, nisi quia magna hie et sola dei gratia fideliter et 
sobrie considerantibus evidenter ostenditur, ut intellegant homines per eandem gratiam 
se justificari a peccatis, per quam factum est ut homo Christus nullum habere tosset 
peceatum,^^ 40 : " Natus Christus insinuat nobis gratiam dei, qua homo nullis prse* 
cedentibus meritis in ipso exordio naturae suae quo esse coepit, verbo deo copularetur 
in tantdm personie unitatem, ut idem ipse esset filius dei qui filius hominis, etc.** 
De dono persev., 67. Op. imperf., I., 138: "Qua gratia homo Jesus ab initio 
factus est bonus, eadem gratia homines qui sunt membra ejus ex malis fiunt boni.'* 
De prsdest. 30 : '* Est etiam praeclarissimum lumen praedestinationis et gratiae ipse 
salvator, ipse mediator dei et hominum homo Christus Jesus, qui ut hbc esset, quibus 



J But it was not so meant. While, indeed, it is here again 
evident, that the conception of the divine grace in Christ 
was, at bottom, subordinate to predestinating grace, and 
that the latter was independent of the former,^ yet Augustine 
by no means confined himself to dealing with the ultimate 
grounds of his conceptions. Rather the Incarnation benefited 
us ; the salvation bestowed was dependent on it for us " who 
are his members "(qui sumus membra ejus).* But how far? 
Where Augustine speaks as a Churchman, he thinks of the 
sacraments, the powers of faith, forgiveness and love, which 
were the inheritance left the Church by the God-man (see 
under). But where he expresses the living Christian piety 
which actuated him, he had three wholly distinct concep- 
tions by which he realised that Christ, the God-man, 
was the rock of his faith.' The Incarnation was the great 

tandem siiis vel operum vel fidei prsBcedentibus meritis natura humana quse in illo e>t 
comparavit ? . . . Singulariter nostra natura in JesU nuUis suis prsecedentibus men- 
tis accepit admiranda {sciL the union with deity). Respondeat hie homo deo, si 
audet, et dicat : Cur non et ego ? Et si audierit : O homo, tu quis es qui respondeat 
deo, etc.*' De corrept. et grat. 30 : '* Deus naturam nostram id est animam raiiona- 
lem carnemque hominis Christi suscepit, susceptione singulariter mirabili vel mirabi- 
liter singulari, ut nullis justitise sua; prsecedentibus mentis filius dei sic esset ab initio 
quo esse homo coepisset, ut ipse et verbum, quod sine initio est, una persona esset." 
De pecc. mer. II. 27. Augustine says in Confess. VII. 25 : ** Ego autem ali- 
quanto postcrius didicisse me fateor, in eo quod verbum caro factum est, quomodo 
catholica vt-ritas a Photini falsitate dirimatur." Our account given al)Ove will have 
shown, however, that he never entirely learnt this. His Christology, at all times, 
retained a strong trace of affinity with that of Paul of Samosata and Photinus (only all 
merit %vas excluded on the part of the man Jesus), because he knew that his faith 
could not dispense with the man Jesus, and he supplanted the pseudo-theological 
speculation as to the Word by the evangelical one that the Word had become the 
content of Christ's soul. 

1 Therefore, also, the uncertainty which we find already in Augustine as to whether 
the Incarnation was necessary. In De Trinit. XIII. 13, he answers the momentous 
question whether God might not have chosen another way, by leaving the possibility 
open, but describing the way selected as bonus, divina digniiati eongruus and con- 
venientior, Hy this he opened up a perilous perspective to the Middle Ages. 
- « Op. imperf. I.e. 

> He definitely 1 ejects the idea held by him before his conversion that Christ was 
only a teacher; see, ^.^., Confess. VII. 25: **Tantum sentiebam de domino 
Christo nieo, quantum de excellentis sapiential viro, cui nullus posset sequari ; pras- 
s^rtim quia mirabiliter natus ex virgine ad exemplum contemneodorum temporaliuBi 
pro adipiscenda immortalitate divina pro nobis cura tantam auctoritatem magisteiii 
meruisse vi.lebatur." 


proof of God's love towards us ; ^ the humility of God and 
Christ attested in it breaks down our pride and teaches us that 
" all goodness is made perfect in humility " (omne bonum in 
humilitate perficitur) ; the truth which was eternal is made 
comprehensible to us in Christ : lying in the dust we can appre- 
hend God who redeems us by revealing himself in our lowliness^ 
Throughout all this we are met by the living impression of 
Christ's person,^ and it is humility, which Paul also regarded as 
so important, that stands out as its clearest and most weighty 
attributes.* The type of humility exhibited in majesty — this it 
was that overpowered Augustine : pride was sitiy and humility 
was the sphere and force of goodness. From this he learned and 
implanted in the Church the new disposition of reverence for 

1 De trin. XHI. 13 : ** Qaid tarn necessarium fuit ad erigendam spem nostram, 
quam ut demonstraretur nobis, quanti nos penderet deus quantumque diligeret ? " 
That takes place through the Incarnation. 

3 The " work " of Christ falls to be discussed afterwards ; for we cannot include 
Augustine's views concerning it among his fundamental conceptions. In part they 
alternate (between redemption from the devil, sacrifice, and removal of original sin 
by death), and in part they are dependant on his specific view of original sin. Where 
he indulges in expositions of practical piety, he has no theory at all r^;arding 
Christ's work. 

*The clearest, and on account of the historical connection the most decisive, 
testimony is given in Confess. VII. 24-27, where, in telling what Christ had become 
to him, he at the same time explains why Neoplatonism was insufficient He knew 
what the Neoplatonists perceived, but *' quaerebam znam comparand! roboris quod 
esset idoneum ad fruendum te, nee inveniebam donee amplecterer mediatorem dei et 
hominum, hominem Christum Jesum vocantem et dicentem : Ego sum via et Veritas 
et vita, et cibum, cui capiendo invalidus eram, miscentem carni ; quoniam verbum 
caro factum est, ut infantia nostra Icutesceret sapientia tua per quam creasti omnia. 
Non enim tenebam dominum meum Jesum, humilis humilem, nee cujus ret magistra 
esset ejus infirmitas noveram, Verbum enim tuum seterna Veritas . . . subditos 
erigit ad se ipsam : in inferioribus autem aedificavit sibi humilem domum de limo 
nostrOf per quam sukdendos deprimeret a seipsis et ad se frajiceret^ sanans tumorem 
et nutriens amorem, ne Jidueia sui progrederentur lofigius^ sedpotius infirmarentur 
videntes ante pedes suos infirmam divinitatem ex patticipationc tunica pellicea nostra^ 
et lassi prostemerentur in eam^ ilia autem surgens lavaret eos,^* He then explains 
in the sequel that the Neoplatonic writings led him to thoroughly understand the 
nature of God, but : ** garriebam plane quasi periius^ ct nisi in Christo salvatore 
nostro viam tuam qusererem, non peritus, sed periturus essem." I sought to be wise, 
puffed up by knowledge. " Ubi enim erat ilia adificans caritas afundamento humi- 
litatisy quod est Christus Jesus?** This love rooted in humility those writings could 
not teach me. It was from the Bible I first learned : '* quid interesset xni'tt prasump- 
tiontm et confessionem^ inter videntes quo eundum sit nee videntes qua^ et viam 


humility. The new bias which he thus gave to Christology 
continued to exert its influence in the Middle Ages, and dis- 
played itself in rays of varying brilliancy and strength ; although, 
as a consequence of the Adoptian controversy, Greek Christo- 
logy once more entered in force, from the ninth century, and 
Jiindered piety from expressing its knowledge clearly in dogma. 
\gWe now understand also why Augustine attached such value 
to the human element (homo) in Christ. This was not merely 
due to a consequence of his theology (see above), but it was ia 
a much higher degree the pious view of Christ that demanded 
this conception. He could not realise Christ's humility with 
certainty in the Incarnation ; for the latter sprang from the 
universal working of God, predestinating grace, and Jesus' re- 
jceptiveness ; but humility was the constant " habit " of the 
vdivino-human personality. Thus the true nature of Jesus Christ 
was really known : " strength is made perfect in weakness " 
(robur in infirmitate perficitur). That lowliness, suffering, shame, 
misery, and death are means of sanctification ; nay, that self- 
less and therefore ever suffering love is the only means of sancti- 
fication (" I sanctify myself for them " ) ; that what is great and 

ducentem ad beaiificam pairiam^ non tantum cemendam^ sed et habitandamj** Now 
I read Paul. *' £t apparuit mihi una facies eloquiorum castorum. £t caepi et inveni 
quidquid iliac verum legeram, hoc cum commendatione gratue tua dici^ ut qui videt 
non sic glorietur quasi non acceperit, non solum id quod videt, sed etiam ut videat, 
et ut te non solum admoneatur ut videat, sed etiam sanetur ut teneat, et qui de 
longinquo videre non potest, viam tamen ambulet, qua veniat et videat et teneat." 
For if a man delights in the law of God after the inner man, what does he do with 
the other law in his members? . . . What shall wretched man do? Who shall 
deliver him from the body of this death ? Who but thy grace through our Lord 
Jesus Christ by whom the handwriting which was against us was abolished. ** Hoc 
illae litterae non habent. Non habent illee paginae valtum pietatis hujus, lacrimas 
confessionis, sacrificium tuum, spiritum contribulatum. . • • Nemo ibi cantat : 
Nonne deo subdita erit anima mea, Ab ipso enim salutare meum. Nemo ibi audit 
vocantem : Venite ad me^ omnes qui laboratis, Dcdignantur ab eo discere quoniam 
mitis est et humilis corde, Abscondisti enim hsec a sapientibus et prudentibus, et 
revelasti ea parvulis.'' '* For it is one thing from the mountain's wooded top to see 
the land of peace and yet to find no way to it, and another to keep steadfastly on 
the way thither." Compare with this the elaborate criticism of Platonism in De 
civit. dei, X., esp. ch. 24 and 32, where Christ is presented as " universalis animse 
liberandffi via," while his significance is for the rest explained much more in the 
popular Catholic fashion than in the Confessions. In ch. I ff. there is even an 
attempt to conceive the angels and saints as a heavenly hierarchy as the Greeks do. 


good always appears in a lowly state, and by the power of the 
contrast triumphs over pride ; that humility alone has an eye 
wherewith to see the divine ; that every feeling in the good is 
accompanied by the sense of being pardoned — that was the 
very core of Augustine's Christology. He, for his part, did not 
drag it into the region of aesthetics, or direct the imagination to 
busy itself with separate visions of lowliness. No, with him it 
still existed wholly on the clear height of ethical thought, of 
modest reverence for the purport of Christ's whole life, whose 
splendour had been realised in humility. " Reverence for that 
which is beneath us is a final stage which mankind could and 
had to reach. But what was involved not only in despising the 
earth and claiming a higher birthplace, but in recognising low- 
liness and poverty, ridicule and contempt, shame and misery, 
suffering and death as divine, nay, in revering sin and trans- 
gression not as hindrances, but as furtherances of sanctification." 
Augustine could have written these words ; for no idea was 
more strongly marked in his view of Christ than that he had 
ennobled what we shrank from — shame, pain, sorrow, death — 
and had stripped of value what we desired — success, honour, 
enjoyment. " By abstinence he rendered contemptible all that 
we aimed at, and because of which we lived badly. By his 
suffering he disarmed what we fled from. No single sin can be 
committed if we do not desire what he despised, or shirk what 
he endured." 

But Augustine did not succeed in reducing this conception of 
the person of Christ to dogmatic formulas. Can we confine the 
sun's ray in a bucket ? He held by the old formulas as forming 
an element of tradition and as expressing the uniqueness of 
Christ ; but to him the true foundation of the Church was Christ, 
because he knew that the impression made by his character had 
broken down his own pride, and had given him the power to 
find God in lowliness and to apprehend him in humility. Thus 
the living Christ had become to him the truth ^ and the way to 

1 Augustine accordingly testifies that in order that the truth which is perceived 
should also be loved and extolled, a person is necessary who should conduct us and 
that on the path of humility. This is the burden of his Confessions. The truth itself 
had been shown clearly to him by the Neoplatonists ; but it had not become his 


blessedness, and he who was preached by the Church his 

But what IS the beatific fatherland, the blessed life, to which 
Christ is the way and the strength? We have already dis- 
cussed it (p. 91 f.), and we need only here mention a few 
additional points. 

s] The blessed life is eternal peace, the constant contemplation 
of God in the other world.* Knowledge remains man's goal ; 
even the notion of the enjoyment of God (fruitio dei), or that 
other of heavenly peace, does not certainly divert us from it' 
Knowledge, is, however, contrasted with action, and the future 

J state is wholly different from the present. From this it follows 
that Augustine retained the popular Catholic feeling that directed 
men in this life wholly to hope, asceticism, and the contemplation 
[of God] in worship, for though that can never be attained in 
this world which the future will bring, yet life here must be 
regulated by the state which will be enjoyed afterwards. 
Hence Augustine championed monachism and opposed Jovinian 
so decidedly ; hence he regarded the world in the same light as 
the ancient Catholic Fathers ; hence he valued as highly as 
they did the distinction between precepts and counsels ; hence 
he never looked even on the highest blessings (munera dei) 
which we can here enjoy as containing the reality, but only a 

spiritual possession. Augustine knew only one person capable of so impressing the 
truth as to make it loved and extolled, and he alone could do this, because he was 
the revelation of the verbum dei in humilitate. When Christendom has attained 
securely and clearly to this '* Christology," il will no longer demand to be freed 
from the yoke of Christology. 

1 This is linked together by Augustine in a wonderful fashion. The scepticism of 
the thinker in genere and the doubts, never overcome in his own mind as to the 
Catholic doctrine in specie^ demanded that Christ should be the indisputable authority 
of the Church. To this is added, in connection with ^cUia infusa^ the Christ of the 
sacraments. I do not discuss this authoritative Christ more fully, because he coin- 
cides with the authority of the Church itself, and we have already dealt with the 

s De civ. dei XIX. 13 : " Pax caelestis civitatis ordinatissima et concordissima 
societas fruendi deo et invicem in deo." Enchir. 29 : '* Contemplatio ejus artificis, 
qui vocat ea quae non sunt tamquam ea quse sunt, atque in mensura et numero et 
pondere cuncta disponit," see 63. 

* Yet the conception of blessedness as peace undoubtedly involves a tendency to 
think primarily of the will. 


. - ■ • • • 

pledge and similitude ; for set in the sphere of the transitory 
they were themselves transitory ; hence, finally, he did not 
think of the earthly Church when seeking to realise the first 
and last things, for God alone, constantly seen and enjoyed, 
was the supreme blessing ; and even the divine kingdom, so far 
as it was earthly, was transitory. 

But even here much that was new emerged in the form of 
undercurrents, and the old was modified in many respects, a 
few details being almost set aside. It is therefore easy to point 
to numerous dissonances in Augustine's idea of the goal ; but 
he who does not criticise like an irresponsible critic or impartial 
logician will admit that he knows no more than Augustine, and 
that he also cannot do better than alternate between different 
points of view. Let us pick out the following points in detail. 

1. Augustine put an end to the doubt whether virtue was not 
perhaps the supreme good ; he reduced virtues to dependance 
on God — to grace; see Ep. 155, 12 sq.^ He, indeed, re- 
admitted the thought at a new and higher stage— merits called 
forth by grace, righteousness made perfect by love. But the 
mood at any rate is changed. 

2. Augustine did not follow the lead of the Greek Church : 
he did not cultivate systematic mysticism with a view to the 
future state, or regard and treat the cultus as a means by which 
to anticipate deification. He set aside the elements of physical 
magic in religious doctrine, and by this means spiritualised the 
ideas of the other world. The ascetic life of the churchman 
was to be spiritual and moral. Statements, indeed, are not 
wholly wanting in his works to the effect that eternal life can be 
experienced in ecstatic visions in this world ; but he is thinking 
then especially of Biblical characters (Paul), and in the course 
of his Christian development he thrust the whole conception 
more and more into the background. 

, 3. Augustine's profound knowledge of the will, and his 
perception of the extent to which the latter swayed even know- 
ledge, led to his discovery of the principle, that goodness and 

1 The whole of Book XIX. of De civit, del — it is perhaps on the whole the most 
important — comes to be considered here. In Ch. IV., it is expressly denied that 
▼irtue is the supreme good. 


blessing, accordingly also final salvation, coincided in the 
dependance of the will on God. By this means he broke 
through intellectualism, and a superlative blessing was shown 
to exist even in this world. "It is a good thing for me to 
cleave to God." This "cleaving" is produced by the Holy 
Spirit, and he thereby imparts love and blessedness to the 
heart.^ In presence of the realisation of this blessedness, the 
antithesis of time and eternity, life and death, disappears.' 

4. Starting from this, he arrived at a series of views which 
necessarily exerted a powerful influence on the popular frame 
of mind. 

{a) Of the three virtues, graces, by which man clings to God 
— faith, love, and hope — love continues to exist in eternity. 
Accordingly, love, unchanging and grateful, connects this world 
with the next. 

{d) Thereby, however, the quietism of knowledge is also 
modified. Seeing is to be nothing but loving ; an element of 
adjustment of all discords in feeling and will is introduced into 
the notion of blessedness, and although "rational contempla- 

1 See De spiriiu et lit. 5 (the pas-^e follows afterwards). 

s That Augustine was able from this point of view to make the consdoun feeling of 
blessedness a force entering into the affairs of this world, is shown by the passage De 
civit. dei XIX. 14, which, indeed, so far as I know, is almost unique. '*£t 
quoniam (Christianus) quamdin est in isto mortali corpore, peregrinatur a domino, 
ambulat per fidem non per speciem ; ac per hoc omnem pacem vel corporis vel 
animse vel simul corporis et animx refer t ad illam pacem, quae homini mortali est 
cum immortali deo, ut ei sit ordinata in fide sub sterna lege oboedientia. Jam vero 
quia duo prsecipua prxcepta, hoc est dilectionem dei et dilectionem proximi, docet 
magister deus . . . consequens est, ut etiam proximo ad diligendum deum consulat, 
quem jubetur sicut se ipsum diligere (sic uxori, sic filiis, sic domesticis, sic ceteris quibus 
potuerit hominibus), et ad hoc sibi a proximo, si forte indiget, consuli velit ; ac per 
hoc erii pacatus, quantum in ipso est, omni homini pace hominum, id est ordinata 
concordia cujus hie ordo est, primum ut nuUi noceat, deinde ut etiam prosit cui 
potuerit. Primitus ergo inest ei suorum cura ; ad eos quippe habet opportuniorem 
facilioremque aditum consulendi, vel naturae ordine vel ipsius societatis humanae. 
Unde apostolus dicit : ' Quisquis autem suis] et maxime domesticis non providet, 
fidem denegat et est infideli deterior.' Hinc ilaque etiam pax domestica oritur, id 
est ordinati imperandi oboedieiulique concordia cohabitantium. Imperaut enim, qui 
consulunt : sicut vir uxori, parentes filiis, domini servis. . . . Sed in domo justi 
viventes ex fide et adhuc ab ilia caelesti civitate peregrinantis etiam qui imperant 
serviunt eis, quibus videntur imperare. Neque enim dominandi aipiditate imperania 
sed officio consulendi, nee principandi superbia, sed providendi misericordia.'* 


tion ** (contemplatio rationalis) is always ranked above " rational 
action" (actio rationalis), a high value is always attached to 
practical and active love.^ 

(c) A higher meaning was now given, not indeed to the 
earthly world, but to the earthly Church and its peculiar 
privileges (within it) in this world. The idea of the city of God 
on earth, formulated long before by others, was yet, as we shall 
see in the next section, first raised by Augustine into the sphere 
of religious thought In front of the Holy of Holies, the first 
and last things, he beheld, as it were, a sanctuary, the Church 
on earth, with the blessings granted it by God. He saw that it 
was a self-rewarding task, nay, a sacred duty, to cherish this 
sanctuary, to establish it in the world, to rank it higher than 
worldly ties, and to devote to it all earthly goods, in order again 
to receive them from it as legitimate possessions. He thus, 
following, indeed, the impulses given by the Western tradition, 
also created, if we may use so bold a phrase, a religion of the 
second order. But this second-order religion, was not, as in the 
case of the Greeks, the formless creation of a superstitious 
cultus. It was on the contrary a doctrine which dealt with the 
Church in its relation to the world as an active and moral 
power transforming and governing society, as an organism, in 
which Christ was actively present, of the sacraments, of good- 
ness and righteousness. Ecclesiasticism and theology were 
meant to be thoroughly united, the former serving the latter, 
the one like Martha, the other like Mary.* They ministered to 

1 The element of " pax " obtains a value higher than and independent of know- 
ledge (see above). That is shown also in the fact that the definitive state of the un- 
saved (De civit. dei, XIX., 28) is not described as ignorance, but as constant war : 
*' Quod bellum gravius et amarius cogitari potest, quam ubi voluntas sic ad versa est 
passioni et passio voluntati, ut nullius earum victoria tales inimicitix finiantur. et ubi 
sic ccnfligit cum ipsa natura corporis vis doloris, ut neutrum alteri cedat ? H ic [in 
terra] enim quando contingit iste conflictus, aut dolor vincit et sensum mors adimit, 
aut natura vincit et dolorem sanitas tollit. Ibi autem et dolor permanet ut affligat, et 
natura perdurat ut sentiat ; quia utrumque ideo non deficit, ne poena deficiat." Un- 
doubtedly, as regards the sainted (see Book, XXII.), the conception comes again and 
again to the front that their felicity will consist in seeing God. 

' Augustine has (De trin. I. 20) applied this comparison to the Churches of the 
future and present world ; we may also adapt it to the relations of his doctrines of 
the Church and of God. 


the same object, and righteousness made perfect by love was 
the element in which both lived.^ 

{d) While the ascetic life remained the ideal for the indi- 
vidual, Augustine modified the popular tendency also in 
monachism by never forgetting, with all his appreciation of 
external works (poverty, virginity, etc.), that faith, hope, and 
charity were alone of decisive importance, and that therefore 
the worth of the man who possessed these virtues might no 
longer be determined by his outward performances. He knew, 
besides, better than anyone else, that external works might be 
accomplished with a godless heart — not only by heretical 
monks, where this was self-evident, but also by Catholics, Ep., 
78, 79, and, uniting ascetics as closely as possible to the Church, 
he urged them to engage in active work. Here, again, we see 
that he broke through the barren system which made blessed- 
ness consist in contemplatio rationalis and that alone. 

This is, in brief, Augustine's doctrine of the first and last 
things, together with indications that point to that sphere which 
belongs though not directly yet indirectly to those things, viz,y 
the equipment and tasks of the Church in our present state. 
" Doctrine^of the first and last things is really an incorrect ex- 
pression ;[jpr, and this is the supreme thing to be said in clos- 
ing the subject, it was not to him a matter of " doctrine," but^of 
the faithful reproduction of his experiences. The most thorough- 
going modification by Augustine of traditional dogmatic 
Christianity consisted in his perception "that Ch ristiani tjr^is 

^ Ritschl published in his Treatise on the method of the earliest liistory of dogma 
(Jahrb. f. deutsche Theol., 187 1 ) the gtand conception that the Areopagite in the 
East, and Augustine in the West, were paraRels ; that the former founded a ritualis- 
tic ecclesiasiicism, the latter an ecclesiasticism of moral tasks, in the service of a 
world-wide Christianity ; that both thus modified in the same direction, but with en- 
tirely different means, the old state of feeling (the bare hope of the future life). This 
conception is substantially correct if we keep firm hold of the fact that the traditional 
popular Catholic system was not modified by either to its utmost limit, and that both 
followed impulses which had been at work in their Churches even before their time. 
The doctrine regarding the Church was not Augustine's " central idea," but he took 
what every Catholic was certain of, and made it a matter of clearer, in part for the 
first time of any clear, conviction ; and moved by very varied causes, he finally pro- 
duced an ecclesiasticism whose independent value he himself never thoroughly per- 


ultimately different from everything_caLkd_' doctrine '"^(Reuter, 
p. 494). The law is doctrine ; the gospel is power. The law 
p roduces enlightenment; the gospel peace. This Augustine 
clearly perceived, and^thereby ..set religion in the sphere of a 
^Ital, spiritual experience, while he disassocsayted. iLimmlKnow- 
le3ge and inference. He once more, indeed, placed his newly^ 
dlSCTyrcred^fruth on the plane of the old ;. for he was a Catholic 
Christian ; but the connection with the past which belongs to 
every effective reformer need noi prevent us from exhibiting his 
originality. Anyone who seeks to give effect to the "whole" 
Augustine and the " whole " Luther is suspected of seeking to 
evade the " true '* Augustine and the " true " Luther ; for what 
man's peculiarity and strength are fully expressed in the 
breadth of all he has said and done? One or two glorious 
passages from Augustine should show, in conclusion, that he 
divested the Christian religion of what is called " doctrine " or 
•* dogma." " I possess nothing but will ; I know nothing but 
that what is fleeting and transitory ought to be despised, and 
what is certain and eternal ought to be sought for. . . . If those 
who flee to thee find thee by faith, grant faith ; if by virtue, 
grant virtue ; if by knowledge, grant knowledge. Increase in 
me faith, hope, love." " But we say that man's will is divinely 
aided to do what is righteous, so that, besides his creation with 
free-will, and besides the doctrine by which he is taught how he 
should live, man receives the Holy Spirit in order that there may 
be created in his mindy even now when he still walks by faith, and 
not by appearance, t/u delight in and love of that supreme and un- 
cliangeable good which is God ; in order that this pledge, as it 
were, having been given him of the free gift, a man may fer*- 
vently long to cling to his Creator, and be inflamed with desire 
to enter into the participation of that true light, that he may 
receive good from him from whom he has his being. For if 
the way of truth be hidden, free-will is of no use except for sin- 
ning, and when that which ought to be done, or striven for, be- 
gins to reveal itself, nothing is done, or undertaken, and the 
good life is not lived, unless it delights and is loved. But that 
it may be loved, the love of God is diffused in our hearts, not 
by free choice emanating from ourselves, but by the Holy 


Spirit given unto us/' " What the law of works commands by 
threatening, the law of faith effects by believing. This is the 
wisdom which is called piety ^ by which the father of lights is 
worshipped, by whom every excellence is given, and every gift 
made perfect ... By the law of works God says : Do what I 
command ; by the law of faith we say to God : Grant what 
thou commandest . . • We have not received the spirit of this 
world, says the most constant preacher of grace, but the spirit 
which is from God, that we may know what things have been 
granted us by God. But what is the spirit of this world but the 
spirit of pride ? . . . Nor are they deceived by any other spirit, 
who, being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to 
establish their own, are not subject to God's righteousness. 
Whence it seeins to me tfiat he is a son of faith who knows front 
whom lie hopes to receive what he does not yet possess^ rather than 
he who attributes to himself what he has. We conclude that a 
man is not justified by the letter, but by the spirit, not by the 
merits of his deeds, but by free grace." ^ 

2. The Donatist Controversy. The Work : De civitate Dei. 
Doctrine of tlie Church, and Means of Grace. 

Augustine was still occupied with the controversy with the 
Manichaeans, in which he so sharply emphasised the authority 

1 Solil. I. 5 : " Nihil aliud habeo quam voluntatem ; nihil aliud scio nisi fluxa et 
caduca spernenda esse, certa et seterna requirenda ... si fide te inveniunt, qui ad 
te refugiunt, fidem da, si virtute, virtutem, si scientia, scientiam. Ange in me fidem, 
auge spem, auge caritatem." De spiritu et lit., 5 : "Nos autem dicimus bumanam 
voluntatem sic divinitus adjuvari ad faciendam justitiam, ut praeter quod creatus est 
homo cum libero arbitrio voluntatis, praeterque doctrinam qua ei prascipitur quemad- 
modam vivere debeat, accipiat .spiritum sanctum, quo fiat in animo ejus delectatio 
dilectioque summi illius atque incommutabilis boni quod deus est, etiam nunc cam 
adhuc per fidem ambulatur, nondum per speciem : ut hac sibi velut arra data gratuiti 
muneris inardescat inhserere creatori atque inflammetur accedere ad participationem 
illius veri luminis, ut ex illo ei bene sit, a quo habet ut sit. Nam neque liberam 
arbitrium quidquam nisi ad peccandum valet, si lateat veritatis via, et cum id quod 
a<;endum et quo nitendum est coBperit non latere, nisi etiam delectet et ametur, non 
agitur, non suscipitur, non l)ene vivitur. Ut antem diligatur, caritas dei diffunditur in 
cordibus nostris, non per arbitrium liberum quod surgit ex nobis, sed per spirituin 
sanctum qui datus est nobis." L.c., 22 : " Quod operum lex minando imperat, hoc 
fidei lex credendo impetrat. Ipsa est ilia sapientia quae pietas vocatur, qua colitur 


of the Catholic Church,^ when his ecclesiastical position — Pres- 
byter, A.D. 392, Bishop, A.D. 396, in Hippo — compelled him to 
take up the fight with the Donatists. In Hippo these formed 
the majority of the inhabitants, and so violent was their hatred 
that they even refused to make bread for the Catholics, 
Augustine fought with them from 393 to 411, and wrote 
against them a succession of works, some of these being very 
compreheilsive.* We must here take for granted a knowledge 
of the course of the controversy at Synods, and as influenced by 
the intrusion of the Civil power.' It was carried on upon the 
ground prepared by Cyprian. His authority was accepted by 
the opponents. Accordingly, internal antitheses developed in 
the dispute which had remained latent in Cyprian's theory. 
The new-fashioned Catholic theory had been already stated im- 
pressively by Optatus (see above, p. 42 ff.). It was reserved to 
Augustine to extend and complete it. But, as it usually 
happens in such questions, every newly-acquired position opened 
up new questions, and for one solution created any number of 

pater laminum, a quo est omne datum optimum et omne donura perfectum. . . . 
Lege operum dicit deus : Fac quod jubeo ; lege fidei diciiur deo : Da quod jubes. 
• . . Non spiritum hujus mundi accepimus, ait conbtantissimus gratie pnedicator, sed 
spiritum qui ex deo est, ut sciamus quae a deo donata sunt nobis. Quis est autem 
spiritus mundi hujus, nisi superbise spiritus? . . . Nee alio spiritu decipiuntur etiam 
iili qui ignorantes dei justitiam et suam justitiam volentes cunstituere, justitiae dei non 
sunt subjecti. Unde mihi videtur magis esse fidei filius, qui novit a quo speret quod 
nondum habet, quam qui sibi tribuit id qaod habet. Colligimus non justificari 
hominem litlera, sed spiritu, non factorum mentis, sed gratnita gratia." 

1 The Manichseans professed, in the controversy of the day, to be the men of *' free 
inquiry " ('* docendi fontem aperire gloriantur " De utilit. 21). We cannot here dis- 
cass how far they were ; Augustine did not conscientiously feel that his breach with 
them was a breach with free inquiry. Therefore the efforts from the outset to define 
the relations of ratio and auctoritas^ and to save what was still possible of the former. 

* Psalmus c. partem Donati — C. Parmeniani cpist, adTichonium b. III. — De bapl. 
c. Donatistas, b. VII. — C. litteras Petiliani, b. III. — Ep. ad Caiholicosc. Dunatlsias 
— C. Cresconium, b. IV. — De unico bapt. c. Petilianum — Breviculus Collationis c. 
Donatistis — Post collationem ad Donatistas. Further, at a later date : Sermo ad 
Oeiareensis ecclesiae plebem — De gestis cum Emerito— C. Gaudentium Donatistam 
episcopum, b. II. The Sermo de Rusticiano is a forgery by the notorious Hierouy- 
mus Viguerius. 

* Augustine supported, at least from A.D. 407, the suppression by force of the Dona- 
tists by the Christian state in the interest ot '* loving discipline," The discussion of 
A.D. 411 was a tragi>comedy. Last traces of the Donatists are still found in the time 
of Gregory I., who anew invoked the aid of the Civil power against them. 


problems. And thus Augustine left more problems than he 
had solved* 

The controversy did not now deal directly with the hier- 
archical constitution of the Church. Episcopacy was an ac- 
cepted fact. The competency of the Church was questioned, 
and therewith its nature, significance, and extent That 
ultimately the constitution of the Church should be dragged 
into the same peril was inevitable ; for the hierarchy is, of 
course, the tenderest part in a constitution based upon it 

TAe schism was in itself the greatest evil. But in order to get 
over it, it was necessary to go to its roots and show that it was 
utterly impossible to sever oneself from the Catholic Churchy that 
the unity ^ as well as truth of the Churchy was indestructible. The 
main thesis of the Donatists was to the effect that the em- 
pirical is only the true Church when those who propagate it, the 
priests, are " pure " ; for no one can propagate what he does 
not lymself possess.^ The true Church thus needs pure priests ; 
it must therefore declare consecration by traditores to be in- 
valid ; and it cannot admit the efficacy of baptism administered 
by the impure — heretics, or those guilty of mortal sins ; finally, 
it must exclude all that is manifestly stained and unworthy. 
This was followed by the breach with such Christian com- 
munions as did not strictly observe these rules, and by the practice 
of re-baptism.^ Separation was imperative, no matter how 
great or small the extent of the Church. This thesis was 
supplemented, during the period of the State persecutions, by a 
second, that the persecuted Church was the true one, and that 
the State had nothing to do with the Church. 

Augustine's counter-argument, based on Cyprian, Ambrosias- 
.ter, and Optatus, but partly disavowing, though with due 
respect, the first-named, went far beyond a bare refutation of 

1 C. litt. Petil I. 3 : '* Qui fidem a perfido sumpserit non fidem percipit, sed 
reatum." I. 2 : ** Con;;cientia dantis adtenditur, qui abluat accipientis.'* Other 
Donatistic theses ran (I.e.) '* Omnes res origine et radice consistil, et si caput non 
habet aliquid, nihil est." ''Nee quidquam bene regenerat, nisi bono semine (boni 
sacerdotis) regeneretur." "Quae potest esse perversitas ut qui suis eiiminibus reus 
est, alium faciat innocentcm ? " 

^ The Donatists, of course, did not regard it as re-baptism. I.e. " non repetimus 
quod jam erat, sed damus quod non erat." > 


the separatists. He created the beginnings of a doctrine of the 
Church, and means of grace, of the Church as institute of salva- 
tion, the organism of the good, ue.y of divine powers in the 
world. Nor did the Donatist controversy furnish him with his 
only motive for developing this doctrine. The dispute with the 
Manichseans had already roused his interest in the authority of 
the Church, and led him to look more closely into it than his 
predecessors (see above, p. jg ff.), who, indeed, were quite at one 
with him in their practical attitude to the Church. The Pela- 
gian controversy, the state of the world, and the defence of 
Christianity against heathen attacks, had an extremely im- 
portant influence on conceptions of the Church. Thus Augustine 
created the Catholic doctrine of the Catholic Church on earth, 
and we attempt in what follows to give, as far as possible, a 
complete and connected account of it. Finally, the earthly 
Church was and remained absolutely nothing but a means for 
the eternal salvation of the individual, and therefore the doctrine^ 
of the Church was also meant to be nothing but a subsidiary 
doctrine. But if all dogmatic ran the risk, with its means and 
subsidiary conceptions, of obscuring the important point, the 
danger was imminent here. Does not the doctrine of salvation 
appear in Catholicism to be almost nullified by the " subsidiary 
doctrine," the doctrine of the Church ? 

Grace and Authority — ^these two powers had, according to } 
Augustine's self-criticism, effected his conversion. The authority 
was the Church. Every one knew what the Church was : the 
empirical, visible Church, which had triumphed ever since the 
days of Constantine. A " logical definition " of the Church was 
therefore unnecessary. The important point was to show that 
men needed an authority, and why it was the authority. The 
weak intellect needed revelation, which brings truth to the i 
individual, before he himself is capable of finding it ; .this * 
revelation is bound up in the Church. The fact that the 

1 Doctrine is, strictly speaking, inaccurate ; for Catholicism does not know of any 
'* doctrines" lierei but describes an actual state of matters brought about by God. 


Church was the authority for doctrine constituted for long 
Augustine's only interest in it. * He produced in support of this 
principle proofs of subjective necessity and of an objective 
nature ; yet he never reached in his exposition the stringency 
and certainty which as a Catholic he simply felt ; for who can 
demonstrate that an external authority must be authoritative ? 
The most important point was that the Church proclaimed 
itself to be the authority in doctrine. One was certainly a 
member of the Church only in so far as he submitted to its 
authority. There was no other way of belonging to it. Con- 
versely, its significance seemed, on superficial reflection, to be 
entirely limited to doctrinal authority. We occupy our true 
relation to God and Christ, we possess and expect heavenly 
blessings only when we follow the doctrinal instructions given 
by the Church. 

Augustine embraced this " superficial reflection " until his 
ecclesiastical office and the Donatist controversy led him to 
more comprehensive considerations. He had arrived at his 
doctrine of predestinating grace without any external instiga- 
tion by independent meditation on the nature of conversion 
and piety. The development of his doctrine regarding the 
Church, so far as it carried out popular Catholic ideas, was 
entirely dependent on the external circumstances in which he 
found himself placed. But he did not himself feel that he was 
stating a doctrine ; he was only describing an actual position 
accepted all along by every Catholic, one which each had to 
interpret to himself, but without subtraction or addition. In 
addition to the importance of the Church as a doctrinal authority, 
he also felt its significance as a sacred institution which im- 
parted grace. On its latter feature he especially reflected ; but 
the Church appeared to him much more vividly after he had 
gained his doctrine of grace : it was the one communion of 
saints, the dwelling-place of the Spirit who created faith, love, 
and hope. We condense his most important statements. 

I. The Catholic Church, held together by the Holy Spirit, 
who is also the bond of union in the Trinity, possesses its most 
important mark in its unity, and that a unity in faith, love, and 
hope, as well as in Catholicity, 


2. This unity in the midst of the divisions existing among 
men is the greatest of miracles, the proof that the Church is not 
the work of men, but of the Holy Spirit 

3. This follows still more clearly when we consider that 
unity presupposes love. Love is, however, the proper sphere 
of the Spirit's activity ; or more correctly, all love finds its 
source in the Holy Spirit ; ^ for faith and hope can be acquired 
to a certain extent independently — therefore also outside of the 
Church — but love issues only from the Holy Spirit. The 
Church, accordingly, because it is a unity, is the alliance of love, 
in which alone sinners can be purified ; for the Spirit only 
works in " love the bond of unity " (in unitatis vinculo caritate). 
If then the unity of the Church rests primarily on faith, yet it 
rests essentially on the sway of the spirit of love alone, which 
presupposes faith.* 

4. The unity of the Church, represented in Holy Scripture 
by many symbols and figures, obtains its strongest guarantee 
from the fact that Christ has made the Church his bride and 
his body. This relationship is so close that we can absolutely 
call the Church ** Christ " ; ^ for it constitutes a real unity with 
Christ. Those who are in the Church are thus ** among the 
members of Christ " (in membris Christi) ; the means and bond 
of this union are in turn nothing but love, more precisely the 
love that resides in unity (caritas unitatis). 

1 Grace is love and love is grace : " caritas est gratia testamenti novi." 

* C. Crescon. I. 34 : " Non autem existimo quemquam ita desipere, ut ere Jat ad 
ecdesiae pertinere unitatem eum qui non habet caritatem. Sicut ergo deus unus 
colitur ignoranter etiam extra ecclesiam nee ideo non est ipse, et fides una habetur 
sine caritate etiam extra ecclesiam, nee ideo non est ipse, ita et unus baptismus, etc." 
God and faith also exist extra ecclesiam but not **pie.** The relevant passages are 
so numerous that it would give a false idea to quote singly. The conception given 
here constitutes the core of Augustine's doctrine of the Church : The Holy Ghost, 
love, unity, and Church occupy an exclusive connection : '* caritas Christiana nisi in 
nnitate ecclesise non potest custodiri, etsi baptismum et fidem teneatis " (c. Pet. litt. 

IL 172). 

* De unit eccl. 7 : ** totus Christus caput et corpus est.'* De civit. XXI, 25. De 
pecc. mer. I. 59 : *' Homines sancti et fideles fiunt cum homine Christo unus Christus, 
ut omnibus per ejus banc gratiam societatemque aclscendentibus ipse unus Christus 
adscendat in csclum, qui de cselo descendit." Sermo 354, i : " Praedicat Christut 



5. Heretics, i,e.^ those who follow a faith chosen by themselves, 
cannot be in the Church, because they would at once destroy 
its presupposition, the unity of faith ; the Church, however, is 
not a society like the State, which tolerates all sorts of philoso- 
phers in its midst. Expelled heretics serve the good of the 
Church, just as everything must benefit those who love God, for 
they exercise them in patience (by means of persecutions), in 
wisdom (by false contentions), and in love to their enemies, which 
has to be evinced on the one hand in saving beneficence, and on 
the other in the terrors of discipline.^ 

6. But neither do the Schismatics, /.^., those who possessed 
the true faith, belong to the Church; for in abandoning its 
unity — being urged thereto by pride like the heretics — they 
show that they do not possess love, and accordingly are beyond 
the pale of the operations of the Holy Spirit. Accordingly the 
Catholic Church is the only Church. 

7. From this it follows that salvation (salus) is not to be 
found outside the Church, for since love is confined to the visible 
Church, even heroic acts of faith, and faith itself, are destitute 
of the saving stamp, which exists through love alone* Means 
of sanctification, a sort of faith, and miraculous powers may 
accordingly exist outside of the Church (see afterwards), but 
they cannot produce the effect and afford the benefit they are 
meant to have. 

8. The second mark of the Church is holiness. This consists 
in the fact that it is holy through its union with Christ and the 
activity of the Spirit, possesses the means— in the Word and 
sacraments — of sanctifying its individual members, ue.^ of per- 
fecting them in love, and has also actually attained this end. 
That it does not succeed in doing so in the case of all who are 
in its midst^ — for it will only be without spot or wrinkle in the 
world beyond — nay, that it cannot entirely destroy sin except 

1 De civit. dei, XVIII. 51, I. 

' Ep. 173, 6: Foris ab ecclesia constitutus et separatus a compagine unitatis et 
vinculo caritalis aeterno supplicio puniveris, edam si pro Christi nomine vivus 

* The Biblical texts are here used that had been already quoted against Calixius 
and the Anti-Novatians (Noah*s Ark, The Wheat and Tares, etc.). 


in a very few, detracts nothing from its holiness. Even a pre- 
ponderance of the wicked and hypocritical over the good and 
spiritual ^ does not lessen it, for there would be no Church at all 
if the Donatist thesis were correct, that unholy members put an 
end to the Church's existence. The Donatists required to limit 
their own contention in a quite capricious fashion, in order to 
avoid destroying the Church.* 

9. Although the tares are not to be rooted out, since men are 
not omniscient, and this world is not the scene of the consumma- 
tion, yet the Church exercises its discipline, and in certain 
circumstances even excommunicates; but it does not do so 
properly in order to preserve its holiness, but to educate its 
members or guard them against infection. But the Church can 
also tolerate. " They do not know the wicked in the Catholic 
unity, or they tolerate those they know for the sake of unity."* 
It can even suffer manifest and gross sinners, if in a particular 
case the infliction of punishment might result in greater harm.* 
It is itself secured from contamination by the profane by never 
approving evil, and always retaining its control over the means 
of sanctification.* 

10. But it is indeed an attribute of its holiness also to beget 
actually holy members. It can furnish evidence of this, since a 
few have attained perfection in it, since miracles and signs have 
constantly been wrought, and a general elevation and sanctifica- 
tion of morals been achieved by it, and since, finally, its whole 
membership will in the end be holy. 

11. Its holiness is, however, shown more clearly in the fact 

1 Augustine seems to have thought that the bad were in the majority even in the 
Church. He at anyrate held that the majority of men would be lost (Enchir. 97). 

s De bapt. II. 8 : If the Donatists were right, there would have been no Church 
even in Cyprian's time ; their own origin would therefore have been unholy. 
Augustine often reproaches them with the number of gross sinners in their midst. 
Their grossest sin, it is true, was — schism (c. litt. Pet. II. 221). 

* C Petil. I. 25 : *' Malos in unitate catholica vel non noverunt, vel pro unitate 
tolerant quos noverunt.'* 

* Here and there in Augustine the thought occurs that the new covenant was 
throughout milder than the old. 

' C. litt. Pet III. 4 : " Licet a malis interim vita, moribus, corde ac voluntate 
separari at que discedere, quae separatio semper oportet custodiatur. Corporalis 
autem separatio ad sseculi finem fidenter, patienter, fortiter exspectatur." 


that it is only within the Church that personal hoh'ness can be 
attained (see above sub. T)} 

12. The unholy in the Church unquestionably belong to it; 
for being in its unity they are subject to the operation of the 
means of sanctiiication, and can still become good and spiritual. 
Yet they do not belong to the inner court of the Church, but 
form a wider circle in it. [They are " vessels to dishonour in 
the house of God " (vasa in contumeliam in domo dei) ; they 
are not themselves, like the " vessels to honour " (vasa in 
honorem), the house of God, but are " in it " ; they are " in the 
communion of the sacraments," not in the proper society of the 
house, but ** adjoined to the communion of the saints " (congre- 
gation! sanctorum admixti) ; they are in a sense not in the 
Church, because they are not the Church self ; therefore the 
Church can also be described as a " mixed body " (corpus per- 
mixtum).p Nay, even the heretics and schismatics, in so far as 
they have appropriated the Church's means of sanctification 
(see under), belong to the Catholic Church, since the latter makes 
them sons without requiring to impart a second baptism.* The 
character of the Church's holiness is not modified by these 
wider circles in the sphere to which it extends ; for, as regards 
its foundation, means, and aim, it always remains the same, and 
a time will come when the holiness of all its members — for 
Augustine does not neglect this mark — will be an actual fact 

^ Sermo 4, ii : " Omnes quotquot fuerunt sancd, ad ipsam ecclesiam pertinent." 
' *' Corpus permixtum " against the second rule of Tichonius, who had spoken of a 
bipartite body of the Lord, a term rejected by Augustine. Not a few of Augustine's 
arguments here suggest the idea that an invisible Church present " in occulto " in the 
visible was the true Church (De bapt. V. 38). 

8 De bapt. I. 13 : The question of the Donatists was whether in the view of 
Catholics Isaptism begot '*sons** in the Donatist Church. If the Catholics said it 
did, then it should follow that the Donatists had a Church, and since there was only 
one, the Church ; but if the question was answered in the negative, then they drew 
the inference : " Cur ergo apud vos non renascuntur per baptismum, qui transeunt a 
nobis ad vos, cum apud nosfuerint baptizati, si nondum nati sunt?" To this Au> 
gustine replies : *' Quasi vero ex hoc generet unde separata est, et non ex hoc unde 
conjuncta est. Separata est enim a vinculo caritatis et pacio, sed juncta est in uno 
baptismate. Itaque est una ecclesia^ qua sola Caiholica nominatur ; et quidquid 
suum habet in communionibus diversorum a sua unitate separatis, per hoc quod suum 
in eis hahet^ ipsa utique generate non illa,^^ 


13. The third mark of the Church is Catholicity. It is that 
which, combined with unity, furnishes the most impressive ex- 
ternal proof, and the surest criterion of its truth. That is. 
Catholicity — extension over the globe — was prophesied, and had 
been realised, although it must be described as a miracle, that 
an association which required such faith and obedience, and 
handed down such mysteries, should have obtained this exten- 
sion. The obvious miracle is precisely the evidence of the truth. 
Donatists cannot be the Church, because they are virtually con- 
fined to Africa. The Church can only exist where it proves its 
Catholicity by union with Rome and the ancient Oriental 
Churches, with the communities of the whole globe. The 
objection that men's sin hinders the extension is without weight ; 
for that would have had to be prophesied. But it is the oppo- 
site that was prophesied and fulfilled.^ The reminder, also, 
that many heresies were extended over the world is of no 
consequence; for, firstly, almost all heresies are national^ 
secondly, even the most wide-spread heresy finds another exist- 
ing at its side, and thereby reveals its falsehood. [This is the 
old sophism : on the one hand, disintegration is regarded as the 
essential characteristic of heresies; on the other, they are 
represented as forming a unity in order that the existence of 
others side by side with it may be urged against each in turn.] 

14. The fourth mark of the Church is its apostolicity. It was 
displayed in the Catholic Church, (i) in the possession of apo- 
stolic writings,* and doctrine, (2) in its ability to trace its ex- 
istence up to the Apostolic communities and the Apostles, and 
to point to its unity (communicatio) with the churches founded 
by the latter.^ This proof was especially to be adduced in the 


1 A Donatist, "historicus doctus," indeed urged the telling objection (Ep. 93, 23) : 
Quantum ad totius mundi pertinet partes, modica pars est in compensatione totius 

mundi, in qua fides Christiana nominatur." Augustine, naturally, was unable really 

to weaken the force of this objection. 

* We have already remarked that Augustine held these to have— at least in many 
respects — ^an independent authority ; see Doctrina Christ, and Ep 54, 55. In not a 
few expositions it seems as if the appeal to the Church was solely to the Church that 
possessed Scripture. 

* Besides the whole of the anti-Dona tist writings, see, e.g,t Ep. 43, 21 ; 44, 3 ; 
49> 2, 3 ; 51, 5 ; 53, 3- 


succession of the Bishops, though their importance is for the 
rest not so strongly emphasised by Augustine as by Cyprian ; 
indeed passages occur in his works in which the universal priest- 
hood, as maintained by TertuUian, is proclaimed.^ 

15. While among the apostolic communities those of the East 
are also very important, yet that of Rome, and in consequence 
Its Bishop, hold the first place. Peter is the representative of 
the Apostles, of Christians in general (Ep. 53, 2 : " totius 
ecclesiae figuram gerens " ), of weak Christians, and of Bishops, 
or the Episcopal ministry. Augustine maintained the theory 
of Cyprian and Optatus regarding Peter's chair : it was occupied 
by the Roman Bishop and it was necessary to be in accord 
with it, because it was the apostolic seat par excellence^ i>., the 
bearer of the doctrinal authority and unity of the Church. His 
statements as to the infallibility of the Roman chair are as un- 
certain and contradictory as those dealing with the Councils 
and Episcopate. He had no doubt that a Council ranked above 
the Roman Bishop (Ep. 43, 19).* 

16. Augustine was convinced of the infallibility of the Catho- 
lic Church ; for it is a necessary consequence of its authority as 
based on Apostolicity. But he never had any occasion to think 
out this predicate, and to establish it in the representation and 
decisions 6f the Church. Therefore he made many admissions, 
partly without thought, partly when hard pressed, which, logic- 
ally understood, destroyed the Church's infallibility. 

17. So also he holds the indispensableness of the Church, for 
it follows from the exclusive relation to Christ and the Holy 
Spirit revealed in its unity and holiness. This indispensableness 
IS expressed in the term " Mother Church "* (ecclesia mater or 
corpus Christi); on modifications, see later. 

18. Finally, he was also convinced of the permanence of the 

1 De civit. dd, XX. 10 : Distinction between sacerdotes and propru sacerdotes, 
' Augustine's attitude to the Roman Bishop, i,t, to the infallible Roman tradition, 
is shown clearly in his criticism of Zosimus (Reuter p. 312 if., 325 if.) and in the ex> 
tremely valuable 36 Epistle, which discusses the work of an anonymous Roman 
writer, who had glorified the Roman Church along with Peter (c. 21 '* Petrus, apo* 
stolorum caput, ccsli janiior, ecclesiae fundamentum *'), and had declared statutory 
institutions of the Roman Church to be universally binding, 
s C. litt Pet. III. 10: "deum patrem et ejus ecclesiam matrem habere." 


Church, and therewith also of its primeval character ; for this 
follows from the exclusive relation to God ; yet ideas entered 
into the conception of permanence and primevalness, which did 
not flow from any consideration of the empirical Church (" the 
heavenly Church " on the one hand, the " city of God " on the 
other ; on this see under), . 

19, The empirical Catholic Church is also the "Kingdom of 
God " (regnum dei, civitas del). As a matter of fact these terms 
are primarily employed in a view which is indifferent to the 
empirical Church (see under) ; but since to Augustine there was 
ultimately only one Church, everything that was true of it was 
also applicable to the empirical Church. At all times he re- 
ferred to the Catholic Church the old term wl^ich had long been 
applied to the Church, ** the kingdom (city) of God," of course 
Imving in mind not that the Church was the mixed, but the 
true body (corpus permixtum, verum).^ 

20. But Augustine gave a much stronger hold than his pre- 
decessors to the conception that the Church is the kingdom of 
God, and by the manner in which in his " Divine Comedy," the 
" De civitate dei," he contrasted the Church with the State, far 
more than his own expressed view, he roused the conviction 
that the empirical Catholic Church sans phrase was the kingdom 
of God, and the independent State that of the devil. That is, 
although primarily the earthly State (civitas terrena) consisted 
for Augustine in the society of the profane aijd reprobate, 
inclusive of decnons, while the city of God (civitas dei) was the 

1 Pcfkapc the most cogent evidence of this is Ep. 36, 17. The anonymous Roman 
ChfWtian had appealed to the verse *' Non est regnum dei esca et potus," and simply 
identified ^* regnum dei** with *^ eeclesia^** to prove that the Roman command to &st 
on the Sabbath was apostolic. Augustine does not reject this identification, but only 
the inference drawn from it by the anonymous writer. Here, however, ecclesia is 
manifestly the Catholic Church. In De trinit. I. 16, 20, 21, Augustine has no doubt 
that the regmtmt which Christ will hand over to the Father, "omnes jusii sunt, in 
quibus nunc regnat mediator," or the " credentes et viventes ex fide ; fideles quippe 
ejus quos redemit sanguine suo dicti sunt regnum ejus." That is the Church ; but at 
the same time it is self-evident that its '' wrinkles " are ignored, yet not so its organi- 
sation ; see on Ps. CXXVI. 3 : " Quae autem domus dei et ipsa civitas ? Domus 
enim dei populus dei, quia domus dei templum del . • . omnes fideles^ quae est 
domus dei, cum angelis &ciunt unam civitatem. Habet custodes. Chrisius custodier 
dot, custos erat, Et episcopi hocfytiunt* Nam ideo altior locus positus est episcopis, 
nt ipsi superintendant et tamquam custodiant populum." , ..... : 


heavenly communion of all saints of all times, comprising the 
angels, yet he held that the former found their earthly historical 
form of expression and manifestation in the secular State, the 
latter in the empirical Church ; for there were by no means 
two cities, kingdoms, temples, or houses of God. Accordingly 
the kingdom of God is the Church, And, carried away by the 
Church's authority and triumph in the world, as also profoundly 
moved by the fall of the Roman world-empire, whose internal 
and external power manifestly no longer existed save in the 
Church, Augustine saw in the present epoch, £^., in the Church's 
History, the millennial kingdom that had been announced by 
John (De civit. XX.). By this means he revised, without com- 
pletely abolishing, the ancient Chiliasm of the Latin Church.^ 
But if it were once determined that the millennial kingdom was 
nowy since Christ s appearance^ in existence^ the Church was ele- 
vated to the throne of supremacy over the world ; for while this 
kingdom consists in Christ's reign, he only reigns in the present 
through the Church. Augustine neither followed out nor 
clearly perceived the hierarchical tendency of his position ; yet 
he reasoned out the present reign of Christ which he had to 
demonstrate (XX. 9-13) by reflecting that only the "saints" 
(sancti) reign with Christ, and not, say, the " tares " ; that thus 
only those reign in the kingdom who themselves constitute the 
kingdom ; and that they reign because they aim at what is 
above, fight the fight of sanctification, and practise patience in 
suffering, etc. But he himself prepared the way directly for 
the sacerdotal interpretation of his thought, or positively ex- 
pressed it, in two of his arguments. The one was drawn from 
him by exegesis,* the other is a result of a manifest view of his 
own. In the first place, viz.y he had to show that Rev. XX. 4 

^ How far he went in this is shown by observing that in B. XX. he has connected 
with the present, as already fuIfiUed, not a few passages which plainly refer to Christ's 
Second Advent ; see c. 5 : '* Multa prseterea qase de ultimo judicio ita dici videntur» 
ut diligenter considerata reperiantur ambigua vet magis ad aliud pertinentia, sive 
scilicet ad eum saha oris adventum, quo per totum hoc tetnpus in tccUsia sua venif^ 
hoc est in membrissuis, particulcUim atqu^paulatim, quoniam tota corpus est ejus ^ sive ad 
excidium terrenie Hierusalem, quia et de illo cam loquitur, plerumque sic loquitur 
tamquam de fine sseculi atque illo die judicii novissimo et magno loquatur." Yet he 
'has left standing much of the dramatic eschatology. 

' See Reuter, Studie III« • . . 


(" those sitting on thrones judge '*) was even now being fulfilled. 
He found this fulfilment in the heads of the Churchy who controlled 
the keys of binding and loosing^ accordingly in the clergy (XX. 9). 
Secondly, he prepared the way for the supremacy of the Church 
over the State ^ in his explicit arguments both against and in 
favour of the latter (XIX., and even before this in V.). The 
earthly State (civitas terrena) and accordingly secular kingdoms 
are sprung from sin, the virtue of the ambitious, and simply 
because they strive for earthly possessions — summed up in the 
pax terrena^ carried out in all earthly affairs — they are sinful, 
and must finally perish, even if they be legitimate and salutary 
on earth. The secular kingdom is finally, indeed, a vast robbery 
(IV. 4): "righteousness being abolished, what are kingdoms 
but great robberies ? ") * which ends in hell in everlasting war ; 
the Roman Republic never possessed peace (XIX. 21). From 
this point of view the Divine State is the only legitimate asso- 

But Augustine had yet another version to give of the matter. 
The establishment of earthly peace (pax terrena) — see its mani- 
fold forms in XIX. 13 — is necessary upon earth. Even those 
who treasure heavenly peace as the highest good are bound to 
care on earth by love for earthly peace. (Already the Jewish 
State was legitimate in this sense ; see the description IV. 34, 
and the general principle XV. 2 : " We therefore find two 
forms in the earthly State, one demonstrating its present 
existence, the other serving to signify the heavenly State by its 
presence " ; ^ here the Divine State is also to be understood by 
the earthly, in so far as the former is copied on earth.) The 
Roman kingdom has become Christian, and Augustine rejoices 
in the fact.* But it is only by the help cAjustitia that rests on 
love that the State can secure earthly peace, and lose the 

1 Augnstine had already written in £p. 35 (a.d. 396, c. 3) : ** Dominus jugo suo in 
gremio ecclesiie toto orbe difioso omnia terrena regna subjecit" 

s " Remota justitia quid sunt regna nisi magna latrocinia" ? 

* *' Invenlmus ergo in terrena civitate duas formas, unam suam prsesentiam demon- 
strantem, alteram cflslesti civitati significandse sua prsesentia servientem." 

4 It is not, accordingly, involved under all circumstances in the notion of the earthly 
State that it is the organism of sin. Passages on the Christian State, Christian ages, 
and Catholic emperors, are given in Reuter, p. 141. 


character of being a robbery (latrocinium). But righteousness 
and love only exist where the worship of the true God is founds 
in the Church, God's State.^ Accordingly the State must be 
dependent on the kingdom of God ; in other words, those who» 
as rulers, administer the earthly peace of society, are l^itimate 
and " blessed " (felices), when they make " their power sub- 
servient to the divine majesty for the extension as widely as 
possible of the worship of God, if they love that kingdom morCy 
where they do not fear having colleagues,** * Rulers, therefore, 
must not only be Christians, but must serve the Church in order 
to attain their own object (pax terrena) ; for outside the Divine 
State — of love and righfeousness — there are no virtues, but only 
the semblance of virtues, i,e., splendid vices (XIX. 25). How- 
ever much Augustine may have recognised, here and elsewhere, 
the relative independence and title of the State,' the proposition 
stands, that since the Church is the kingdom of God it is the 
duty of the State to serve it, because the State becomes more 
legitimate by being, as it were, embodied in it* It is especially 
the duty of the State, however, to aid the Church by forcible 
measures against idolatry, heretics, and schismatics; for com- 
pulsion is suitable in such cases to prevent the good from being 
seduced, to instruct the wavering and ignorant, and to punish 
the wicked. But it by no means follows from this that in 
Augustine's view the State was to pursue anything that might 
be called an independent ecclesiastical or religious policy. It 
rather in matters of religion constantly supports the cause of 
the Church, and this at once implies that it is to receive its 

1 Augustine, indeed, also holds that there is an earthly justitia, which is a 
great good contrasted with flagitia and facinora ; he can even appreciate the value of 
relative blessings (Renter, p. 135 ff.)» but this righteousness finally is dissipated, 
because, not having itself issued from " the Good,*' it cannot permanently institnie 
anything good. 

< V. 24 : If they *' suam potestatem ad dei cultum nuoiiiie ^latandura majestati 
ejus famulam &ciunt, si plus amant illud regnum, ubi non timent habere consortea." 

s What holds true of the State appfies equally, of course, to all particular blessings 
muriage, fiuniiy^ property, etc. 

4 Augustine, therefore, holds a different view from Optatus (see above, p. 48) ; at 
least, a second consideration is frequent, in which the Church does not exist in the 
Roman empire, but that empire is attached to the Church. In matters of /(SmeiMr 
fclicitas the Church, according to Augustine, was bound to obey the State. 


instructions from the Church. And this was actually Augustine's 
procedure. His conception of the " Christian State " did not 
include any imperial papistical title on the part of the civil 
power; such a title was rather absolutely precluded. Even if the 
Church begged for clemency to heretics, against whom it had 
itself invoked the arm of the State, this did not establish the 
independent right of the latter to inflict punishment : it served 
the Church in punishing, and it gratified it in practising 

II. 21. Augustine was compelled by the Donatist practice of 
re-baptism and re-ordination to examine more closely, following 
Optatus, the significance and efficacy of the functions of the 
Church. It was inevitable that in doing so he should give a 
more prominent place to the notion of the Church as the com- 
munion of the Sacraments, and at the same time have instituted 
extremely sophistical discussions on the Sacraments — which, 
however, he did not yet carry out to their conclusion — in order 
to prove their objectivity, and make them independent of men, 
yet without completely externalising them, while vindicating 
them as the Church's exclusive property. 

22. To begin with, it was an immense advance, only possible 
to so spiritual a man as Augustine, to rank the Word along 
with the Sacraments. It is to him we owe the phrase "the 
Word and Sacraments." If he did not duly appreciate and 
carry out the import of the " Word," yet he perceived that as 
gospel it lay at the root of every saving rite of the Church.* 

1 On the relation of Chnrch and State, see Dorner, pp. 295-312, and the modifi- 
cations considered necessary by Renter in Stndien, 3 and 6. Augustine did not at 
first approve the theory of inquisition and compulsion (c. Ep. Man. c. 1-3), but he 
was convinced of its necessity in the Donatist controversy ('*cogeintrare"). He 
now held all means of compulsion legitimate except the death penalty ; Optatus 
approved of the latter also. If it is not difficult to demonstrate that Augustine always 
recognised an independent right of the State to be obeyed, yet that proves little. It 
may, indeed, be the case that Augustine valued the State relatively more highly than 
the ancient Christians, who were still more strongly influenced by eschatological 
views. But we may not forget that he advanced not only the atUsHs sodUai^ but the 
catholica^ in opposition to the State. 

s Ep. 21,3: *' sacramentum et verbum dei populo ministrare." Very frequently 
verinim^€uangelium^Q\iraX and the first cause of regeneration. C. litt. Pet. I. 8 : 
** Semen quo regeneror verbum dei est." The objective efficacy of the Word is 


23. Exhaustively as he dealt with the Sacraments, he was far 
from outlining a doctrine regarding them ; he contented himself 
rather with empirical reflections on ecclesiastical procedure and 
its defence. He did not evolve a harmonious theory either of 
the number or notion of the Sacraments.^ Every material sign 
with which a salvation-conferring word was connected was to 
him a Sacrament " The word is added to the element, and a 
Sacrament is constituted, itself being, as it were, a visible word"* 
The emphasis rests so strongly on the Word and faith (on John 
XXV. 12: "believe and thou hast eaten") that the sign is 
simply described in many places, and indeed, as a rule, as a 
figure. But this view is modified by the fact that in almost as 
many passages the Word, with its saving power, is also con- 
ceived as a sign of an accompanying invisible entity,* and all 
are admonished to take whatever is here presented to the senses 
as a guarantee of the reality. But everything beyond this is 
involved in obscurity, since we do not know to what signs 
Augustine would have us apply his ideas about the Sacrament ; 

sharply emphasised, but — outside of the Church it does not succeed in infusing love. 
C. Pet. III. 67 : *' minister verbi et sacramenti evangelici, si bonus est, consocius fit 
evangelii, si autem malus est, non ideo dispensator non est evangelii.*' II. 11 : 
" Nascitur credens non ex ministri steriiitate, sed ex veritatis fcecunditatc." Still, 
Luther was right when he included even Augustine among the new-fashioned theo- 
logians who talk much about the Sacraments and little about the Word. 

1 **AIiud videtur aliud intelligitur " (Sermo 272) is Augustine's main thought, 
which Ratramnus afterwards enforced so energetically. Hahn (L. v. d. Sacram., p. 
1 1 ff. ) has detailed Augustine's various statements on the notion of the Sacrament. 
We learn, ^.^., from Ep. 36 and 54, the strange point of view from which at times he 
regarded the conception of the Sacrament : see 54, i : '* Dominus nosier, sicut ipse 
in evangelio loquitur, leni jugo suo nos subdidit et sarcinae levi ; unde sacramentis 
numero paucissimis, observatione facillimis, significatione prsestantissimis societatem 
novi populi colligavit." Baptism and the Lord's Supper follow ** et si quid aliud in 
scripturis canonicis commendatur. • . . Ilia autero quae non scripta, sed tradita cus- 
todimus, quae quidem toto terrarum orbe servantur, datur intelligi vel ab ipsis aposto- 
lis, vel plenariis conciliis, quorum est in ecclesia saluberrima auctoritas, commendata 
atque statuta retineri, sicut quod domini passio et resurrectio et ascensio in caelum et 
adventus de cselo spiritus sancti anniversaria sollemnitate celebrantur, et si quid aliud 
tale occurrit quod servatur ab universa, quacumque se diflfundit, ecclesia." 

* On John T. 80, 3 : " Accedit verbum ad elementum et fit sacramentum, etiam 
ipsum tamquam visibiU verbum, 

> De catech. rud. 50 : " Signacula quidem rerum divinarum esse visibilia, sed res 
ipsas invisibiles in eis honorari." 


in De doctr. Christ, he speaks as if Baptism and the Lord's 
Supper were almost alone in question, but in other passages his 
language is different^ 

24. He himself had no occasion to pursue his reflections 
further in this direction. On the other hand, the Donatist 
thesis that the efficacy of the Sacrament depended on the cele- 
brant, and the Donatist practice of re-baptism, forced him to 
set up two self-contradictory positions. First, the Sacraments 
are only efficacious in the Church, but they are also efficacious 
in circles outside the Church. If he abandoned the former prin- 
ciple, he denied the indispensableness of the Church ; if he 
sacrificed the second, he would have required to approve of re- 
baptism. Secondly, the Sacraments are independent of any 
human disposition, and they are inseparably attached to the 
Catholic Church and faith. To give up the one thesis meant 
that the Donatist was right ; to doubt the other was to make the 
Sacrament a magical performance indifferent to Christianity and 
faith. In order to remove these contradictions, it was necessary 
to look for distinctions. These he found, not, say, by discrimi- 
nating between the offer and bestowal of grace, but by assum- 
ing a twofold efficacy of the Sacraments. These were (i) an ) 
indelible marking of every recipient, which took place wherever / 
the Sacrament was administered, no matter by whom,* and (2) 
an administration of grace^ in which the believer participated^ 
only in the union of the Catholic Church. According to this he 
could teach that : the Sacraments belong exclusively to the 
Catholic Church, and only in it bestow grace on faith ; but they 
can be purloined from that Church, since, " being holy in them- 
selves/* they primarily produce an effect which depends solely 
on the Word and sign (the impression of an indelible " stamp "), 

I Hahn (p. 12) gives the following definition as Augustinian : '* The Sacrament is 
a corporeal sign, instituted by God, of a holy object, which, from its nature, it is 
adapted by a certain resemblance to represent, and by means of it God, under cer- 
tain conditions, imparts his grace to those who make use of it." 

' £p. 1739 3 : ** Vos oves Christi estis, characterem dominicum portatis in Sacra- 
mento." De bapt. c. Donat. IV. 16 : " Manifestum est, fieri posse, ut in eis qui 
sunt ex parte diaboli sanctum sit sacramentum Christi, non ad salutem, sed ad judi- 
cium eorum . , . signa nostri imperatoris in eis cognoscimus . , , desertores sunt.'* 
VI. I : '* Oves dominicum characterem a fallacibus deprsedatoribus foris adepts?." 


and not on a hunian factor.^ Heretics have stolen it, and 
administer it validly in their . associations. Therefore the 
Church does not again baptise repentant heretics (schismatics), 
being certain that at the moment of faithful submission to the 
Catholic communion of love, the Sacrament is " efficacious for 
salvation" (ad salutem valet) to him who had been baptised 
outside its pale.' 

25. This theory could not but leave the nature of the 
"stamp" impressed and its relation to the communication of 
grace obscure.' The legal claim of schismatics and heretics to 
belong to the Catholic Church appears to be the most important, 
and, indeed, the sole effect of the " objectivity " of the Sacra- 
ments outside the Church.* But the theory was only worked 
out by Augustine in baptism and ordination, though even here 
he did not succeed in settling all the problems that arose, or in 
actually demonstrating the "objectivity." But in his treatment 
of the Lord's Supper, e,g.^ it cannot be demonstrated at all. For 

1 De bapt. IV. 16 : " Per se ipsum considerandus est baptismus verbis evangelicis, 
non adjuncta neque permixta ulla perversitate atque malitia sive accipientium sive 
tradentium . .' . non cogitandum, quis det sed quid det/' C. litt. Pet. 1.8: 
" (Against various Donatist theses, e.g,^ ' conscientia dantis adtenditur, qui abluat ac- 
cipientis') Saepe mihi ignota est humana conscientia, sed certus sum de Christi 
misericordia . . . non est perfidus Christus, a quo fidem percipio, non reatum . . . 
origo mea Christus est, radix mea Christus est . . . semen quo regeneror, verbum 
dei est . . . etiam si ille, per quern audio, quae mihi dicit ipse non fadt . . . me 
innocentem non facit nisi qui mortuus est propter delicta nostra et resurrexit propter 
justificationem nostram. Non enim in ministrum, per quem baptizor, credo, sed in 
eum, qui justificat impium." 

* We have to emphasise the distinction between " habere *' and "utiliter habere " 
often drawn in the writings against the Donatists ; c. Cresc. I. 34 : " Vobis 
(Donatistis) pacem nos annuntiamus non ut, cum ad nos veneritis, alteram baptismum 
accipiatis, sed ut eum qui jam apud vos erat utiliter habeatis^^* ot *<una catholica 
ecclesia non in qua sola unus baptismus habetur, sed in qua sola unus baptismus 
salubriter habetur,^* De bapt. c. Donat. IV. 24 : " Qui in invidia intus et malevo- 
lentia sine caritate vivunt, verum baptisma possunt et accipere et tradere. (Sed) 
salus, inquit Cyprianus, extra ecclesiam non est. Quis negat ? Et ideo quaecumque 
ipsius ecclesiae habentur, extra ecclesiam non valent ad salutem. Sed altud est non 
habere, aliudnon utiliter habere,^* 

> In the Catholic Church the seal and salvation coincide where faith is present. 
Augustine's primary concern was that the believer should receive in the Sacrament a 
firm conviction of the mercy of Christ. 

^ Augustine did not really lay any stress on legal relations ; but he did, as a matter 
of fact, a great deal to set matters in this light. 


since, according to him, the reality of the Sacrament (res sacra- 
menti) was invisible incorporation in the body of Christ (Augus- 
tine deals with the elements symbolically), and the eucharistic 
sacrifice was the sacrifice of love or peace, the co-operation of 
the Catholic Church is always taken to be essential to the Lords 
Supper, Accordingly there is here no " stamp " independent of 
the Church.^ But in the case of Baptism, he could assume that 

^ Sermo 57, 7 : " EucharUtia panis noster quotidianus est ; sed sic accipiamus 
ilium, ut non solum ventre sed et mente reBciamur. Virtus enim ipsa, que ibi 
intelligitur, unitas est, ut redacti in corpus ejus, efTecti membra ejus, simus quod 
acdpimus." 272 : " panis est corpus Christi . . . corpus Christi si vis intelligere, 
apostolum audi : vos estis corpus Christi." Augustine maintains the traditional con- 
ception that, in speaking of the " body of Christ," we may think of all the ideas 
connected with the word (the body is irvtvyjiriKhy^ is itself spirit, is the Church), but 
he prefers the latter, and, like the ancient Church, suffers the reference to forgiveness 
of sins to £1,11 into the background. Unitas and vita (De pecc. mer. I. 34) occupy 
the foreground. Therefore in this case also, nay, more than in that of any other 
signum^ the sign is wholly irrelevant. This "sacramentum unitatis" assures 
believers and gives them what they are^ on condition of their possessing faith. (On 
John XXVI. I : ''credere in eum, hoc est manducare panem vivum '' ; De civit. 
XX I. 25. ) No one has more strongly resisted the realistic interpretation of the Lord's 
Sapper, and pointed out that what "visibiliter celebratur, oportet invisibiliter 
intelligi " (On Ps. XCVIII. 9 fin.). "The flesh profits nothing," and Christ is not 
on earth " secundum corporis praesentiam." Now it is possible that, like the Greeks, 
Augustine might here or there have entertained the thought that the sacramental 
body of the Lord must also be identified with the real. But I have found no passage 
which clearly supports this (see also Dorner, p. 267 ff.). All we can say is that not 
a few passages at a first glance can be, and soon were, understood in this way. 
Augustine, the spiritual thinker, has in general greatly weakened the dogmatic signifi- 
cance of the Sacrament. He indeed describes it, like Baptism, as necessary to salva- 
tion; but since he hardly ever cites the argument that it is connected with the 
resurrection and eternal life, the necessity is reduced to the unity and love which find 
one expression along with others in the Lord's Supper. The holy food is rather, in 
genera], a declaration and assurance, or the avowal of an existing state, than a gift. 
In this Augustine agrees undoubtedly with the so-called pre- Reformers and Zwingli. 
This leads us to the import of the rite as a sacrifice (" sacrificium corporis Christi "). 
Here there are four possible views. The Church presents itself as a sacrifice in 
Christ's body; Christ's sacrificial death is symbolically repeated by the priest in 
memory of him ; Christ's body is really offered anew by the priest ; and Christ, as 
priest, continually and everywhere presents himself as a sacrifice to the Father. Of 
these views, I, 2, and 4 can certainly be instanced in Augustine, but not the third. 
He strictly maintains the prerogative of the prie$;t ; but there is as little mention of a 
" conficere corpus Christi " as of Transubstantiation ; for the passage (Sermo 234, 2) 
to which Catholics delight to appeal : "non omnis panis sed accipiens benedictionem 
fit corpus Christi," only means that, as in all Sacraments, the res isnow added to the/aMiV, 
and makes it the signum reiinvisibilis ; by consecration the bread becomes something 


it could establish, even outside of the Church, an inalienable 
relation to the triune God, whose place could not be supplied by 
anything else, "whidciin certain circumstances created a kind of faith, 
but which only bestowed salvation within the pale of the Church.^ 

diflferent from what it was 1>efore. The res invisibilis is not, however, the real body, 
but incorporation into Christ's body, which is the Church. According to Augustine, 
the unworthy also obtain the valid Sacrament, but what they do receive is indeed 
wholly obscure. I could not say with Dorner (p. 274) : " Augustine does not know 
of any participation in the real (?) body and blood on the part of unbelievers/* 

1 It is now the proper administration of baptism (rite) that is em- 
phasised. The Sacrament belongs to God ; therefore it cannot be rendered 
invalid by sin or heresy. The indispensableness of baptism rests of sheer neces- 
sity on the *' stamp," and that is the most fatal turn it could take, because in 
that case faith is by no means certainly implied. The " Punici " are praised in De 
pecc. mer. I. 34, because they simply call baptism **salus" ; but yet the indbpens- 
ableneas of the rite is not held to consist in its power of conferring salvation, but in 
the stamp. ITiis indispensableness is only iniringed by the baptism of blood, or by the 
wish to receive baptism where circumstances render that impossible. In the corres- 
ponding line of thought baptism rightly administered among heretics appears, because 
possessed unlawfully, to be actually inefficacious, nay, it brings a judgment. The 
Euphrates, which flows in Paradise and in profane countries, only brings forth fruit 
in the former. Therefore the controversy between Dorner and Schmidt, whether 
Augustine did or did not hold the Sacrament to be dependent on the Catholic Church, 
is idle. It is independent of it, in so far as it is necessary ; dependent, if it is to be- 
stow salvation. Yet Dorner (I.e. p. 252 f., and elsewhere) seems to me to be advanc- 
ing not an Augustinian conception, but at most a deduction from one, when he 
maintains that Augustine does not contradict the idea that the Church is rendered 
holy by its membership, by emphasising the Sacraments, but by laying stress on the 
sanctity of the whole, namely the Church. He repeatedly makes the suggestion, 
however, in order to remove the difficulties in Augustine's notion of the Sacraments, 
thnt he must have distinguished between the offisr and bestowal of grace ; even the 
former securing their objective validity. But this is extremely questionable, and 
would fall short of Augustine ; for his correct religious view is that grace operates and 
does not merely make an offer. Augustine, besides, has wavered to such an extent 
in marking o(T the place of the stamp, and of saving efficacy in baptism, that he has 
even supposed a momentary forgiveness of sin in the case of heretics (De bapt. I. 
19; III. 18: **rursus debita redeunt per haeresis aut schismatis obstinationem et 
ideo necessarium habent hujusmodi homines venire ad Catholicam pacem ; " for, on 
John XXVII. 6 : ** pax ecclesiae dimittit peccata et ab ecclesiae pace alienatio tenet 
peccata ; petra tenet, petra dimittit ; columba tenet, columba dimittit ; unitas tenet, 
unitas dimittit "). The most questionable feature of Augustine's doctrine of baptism 
(within the Church) is that he not only did not get rid of the magical idea, but 
strengthened it by his interest in infant baptism. While he intended that baptism 
and faith should be connected, infant baptism made a cleavage between them. He 
deduced the indispensableness of infant baptism from original sin, but by no means 
also from the tendency to make the salvation of all men dependent on the Church (see 
Dorner, p. 257). In order to conserve faith in baptism, Augustine assumed a kind 


And in the case of Ordination he could teach that, properly be- 
stowed, it conveyed the inalienable power to administer the 
Sacraments, although the recipient, if he stood outside the 
Church, only officiated to his own perdition.^ In both cases his 

of vicarious faith on the part of god-parents, but, as it would appear, he laid no stress 
on it, since his true opinion was that baptism took the place of faith for children. 
However, the whole doctrine of baptism is ultimately for Augustine merely prelimin- 
ary. Baptism is indispensable, but it is, after all, nothing more. The main thing is 
the active presence of the Holy Spirit in the soul ; so that, from this point of view, 
baptism is of no real importance for salvation. But Augustine was far from drawing 
this inference. 

^ Little reflection had hitherto been given in the Church to ordination. The Dona- 
tists furnished a motive for thinking about it, and it was once more Augustine who 
bestowed on the Church a series of sacerdotal ideas, without himself being interested 
in their sacerdotal tendency. The practice had indeed for long been sacerdotal ; but 
it was only by its fateful combination with baptism, and the principle that ordination 
did not require (as against Cyprian) a moral disposition to render it valid, that the 
new sacrament became perfect. It now conferred an inalienable stamp, and was, 
therefore, if it had been properly administered, even though outside the Church, not 
repeated, and as it communicated an objective holiness, it gave the power also to 
propagate holiness. From Book I. c. I of De bapt. c. Donat. onwards, the sacra- 
mentum baptismi and the sacramentum baptismi dandi are treated in common (§ 2 : 
" sicnt baptizatus, si ab unitate recesserit, sacramentum baptismi non amittit, sic 
ctiam ordinatus, si ab unitate recesserit, sacramentum dandi baptismi non amittit." 
C. ep. Farm. II. 28: "utrumque in Catholica non licet iterari.'' The clearest 
passage is De bono conjug. 32 : "Quemadmodum si fiat ordinatio cleri ad plebem 
congregandam, etiamsi plebis congregatio non subsequatur, manet tamen in illis 
ordinatis sacramentum ordinationis, et si aliqua culpa quisquam ab ofHcio removeatur, 
Sacramento domini semel imposito non carebit, quamvis ad judicium peimanente "). 
The priests are alone appointed to administer the sacraments (in c. ep. Farm. II. 29 
we have the remarkably tortuous explanation of lay-baptism ; Augustine holds that 
it is 9k veniaU delictum^ even when the necessity is urgent ; he, at least, believes it 
possible that it is so. But baptism, even when unnecessarily usurped by laymen, is 
valid, although illicite datum ; for the ** stamp" is there. Yet Augu>tine warns ur- 
gently against encroaching on the office of the priest.) None but the priest can 
celebrate the Lord's Supper. That was ancient tradition. The judicial functions of 
priests fall into the background in Augustine (as compared with Cyprian). We do 
not find in him, in a technical form, a sacrament of penance. Yet it actually existed, 
and he was the first to give it a substructure by his conception that the gratia Christi 
was not exhausted in the retrospective effect of baptismal grace. In that period, 
baptism and penance were named together as if they were the two chief Sacraments, 
without the latter being expressly called a Sacrament ; see Felagius' confession of 
£utb (Hahn, § 133) : " Hominem, si post baptismum lapsus fiierit, per psenitentiam 
credimus posse salvari ; " which is almost identical with that of Julian of Eclanum 
(I'C § 13s) • " Eum, qui post baptismum peccaverit, per paenitentiam credimus 
posse salvari ;" and Augustine's (Enchir. 46) : **Peccata, quae male agendo postea 



view was determined by the following considerations. First, he 
sought to defend the Church, and to put the Donatists in the 
wrong. Secondly, he desired to indicate the mark of the 
Church's holiness, which could not, with certainty, be established 
in any other way, in the objective holiness of the Sacraments. 
And, thirdly, he wished to give expression to the thought that 
there must exist somewhere, in the action of the Church, an 
element to which faith can cling, which is not supported by 
men, but which sustains faith itself, and corresponds to the 
assurance which the believer rests on grace. Augustine's 
doctrine of grace has a very great share in his doctrine of the 
sacraments, or, more accurately, of the sacrament of baptism. 
On the other hand, he had by no means any sacerdotal interest 
in this conception. But it could not fail afterwards to develop in 
an essentially sacerdotal sense. But, at the same time, men were 
impelled in quite a different direction by the distinction between 
the outward rite and accompanying effect, by the value given 
to the " Word " and the desire to maintain the objectivity of the 
Sacrament. The above distinction could not but lead in later 
times to a spiritualising which refined away the Sacraments, or, 
on the other hand, centred them in the '* Word," where stress 
was laid on a given and certain authority, and therewith on the 
supremacy of the Word. Both these cases occurred. Not only 
does the Mediaeval Catholic doctrine of the Sacraments go back 
to Augustine, but so do the spiritualists of the Middle Ages, 
and, in turn, Luther and Calvin are indebted to him for sug- 

committuntur, possunt et psenitendo sanari, sicut etiam post baptismum fieri videmus ;" 
(c. 65) : " Neque de ipsis criininibus quamlibet magnis remittendis in sancta ecclesia 
dei misericordia desperanda est agentibus paenitentiam secundum modum sui cujusque 
peccati." He is not speaking of baptism, but of the Church's treatment of its mem- 
bers after baptism, when he says (I.e. c. 83) : *• Qui vero in ecclesia remitti peccata 
non credens contemnit tantam divini muneris largitatem et in hac obstinatione mentis 
diem claudit extremum, reus est illo irremissibili peccato in spiritum sanctum.'* 

1 A passage in Augustine's letter to Januarius (Ep. 55, c. 2) on the nature of the 
sacrament became very important for after ages : ** Primum oportet noveris diem 
natalem domini non in sacramento celebrari, sed tantum in memoriam revocari quod 
natus sit, ac per hoc nihil opus erat, nisi revolutum anni diem, quo ipsa res acta est. 


Augustine's conception, above described, of the visible 
Church and means of grace is full of self-contradictions. His 
identification of the Church with the visible Catholic Church 
was not a success. He meant that there should be only one 
Church, and that none but believers should belong to it ; but 
the wicked and hypocrites were also in it, without being it ; nay, 
even heretics were in a sense in it, since they participated in 
the Sacraments. But in that case is the Church still visible ? 
It is — in the Sacraments. But the Church which is visible in 
the Sacraments is certainly not the bride and body of Christ, 
the indispensable institution of salvation ; that is alone the 
Church which is possessed by the spirit of love ; and yet it is 
masked by the presence of the wicked and hypocritical. And 
the Sacrament cannot be relied upon ; for while it is certainly 
not efficacious for salvation outside the Catholic Church, it is 
by no means certainly efficacious within it The one Church is 
the true body of Christ, a mixed body, and the outward 
society of the Sacraments ; in each instance we have a different 
circle ; but it is as essential and important that it should be the 
one as the other. What is the meaning, then, ** of being in the 
Church " (in ecclesia esse) ? Every speculation on the notions 
of things is fated to stumble on contradictions ; everything can 
be something else, anything is everything, and everything is 
nothing. The speculation surprises us with a hundred points 
of view — that is its strength — to end in none of them being 
really authoritative. 

But all Augustine's deliverances on this subject are seen to 
be merely conditional in their value, not only from their self- 
contradictions, but from the fact that the theologian is not, or is \y/ 
only to a very limited extent^ expressing his religious conviction. 
He felt and wrote as he did because he was the defender of the 
practice of the Church, whose authority he needed for his faith. 
But this faith took quite other directions. Even those incon- 

festa devotione signari. Sacramentum est autem in aliqua celebrationis cum reigesta 
commemaratio itafit, ut aiiquid etiam significari intelUgcUur^ quod sancte accipiendum 
tit, Eo itaque modo egimus pascha ut non solum in roemoriam quod gestuxn est, re- 
vocemus, id est, quod mortuus est Christus et resurrexit, sed etiam cetera, quae drca 
ea adtestantur ad sacraroenti significationem non omittamus." 


sistencies, which indeed were partly traditional, show that his 
conception of the Church was penetrated by an element which 
resisted the idea that it was visible. This element, however, 
was itself by no means congruous throughout, but agsun com- 
prehended various though intertwined features. 

1. The Church is heavenly ; as bride and body of Christ it is 
quite essentially a heavenly society (caelestis societas). This 
ancient traditional idea stood in the foreground of Augustine's 
practical faith. Wliat the Church is^ it cannot at all be on earth ; 
it possesses its truth, its seat, in heaven. There alone is to be 
found the true sphere of its members ; a small fragment wander 
as pilgrims here upon earth for a time. It may indeed be said 
that upon earth we have only the copy of the heavenly Church ; 
for in so far as the earthly fragment is a " civitas terrena " (an 
earthly state) it is not yet what it will be. It is united with 
the heavenly Church by hope. It is folly to regard the present 

"^ Church as the Kingdom of Heaven. " What is left them but 
to assert that the kingdom of heaven itself belongs to the 
temporal life in which we now exist? For why should not 
blind presumption advance to such a pitch of madness ? And 
what is wilder than that assertion ? For although the Church 
even as it now exists is sometimes called the kingdom of 
heaven, it is surely so named because of its future and eternal 
existence } " ^ 

2. The Church is primeval^ and its members are therefore not 
/ all included in the visible institution of the Catholic Church. 
' We now meet with the conception expounded by Augustine in 

his great work " De civitate dei," at which he wrought for 
almost fifteen years. The civitas dei^ i,e., the society in which 
there rules "the love of God to the contempt of self" (amor dei 
usque ad contemptum sui, XIV. 28), and which therefore aspires 
, to " heavenly peace " (pax caelestis), began in the angelic world. 
"" With this the above conception (see sub. i) is combined : the 

1 De virgin. 24 : "Quid aliud istis restat nisi ut ipsum regnum cslorum ad banc 
temporalem vitam, in qua nunc sumus, asserant pertinere ? Cur enim non et in banc 
insaniam progrediatur caeca prsasumptio ? £t quid hac assertione furiosius ? Nam 
etsi regnum cselorum aliquando ecclesia etiam quae hoc tempore est appellatur ad 
hoc utique sic appellatur, quia futurse vitse sempiternseque colligitur." It is needless 
to quote more passages, they are so numerous. 


city of God is the heavenly Jerusalem. But it embraces all 
believers of the past, present, and future ; it mingled with the 
earthly State (civitas terrena) before the Deluge,^ ran through a 
history on earth in six periods (the Deluge, Abraham, David, 
the Exile, Christ, and Christ's second Advent), and continues 
intermingled with the secular State to the end. With the tran- 
scendental conception of the City of God is thus combined, 
here and elsewhere,* the universalist belief applied to the 
present world : * Christianity, old as the world, has everywhere 
and in all ages had its- confessors who "without doubt" have 
received salvation ; for the " Word " was ever the same, and 
has always been at work under the most varied forms (" prius 
occultius, postea manifestius ") * down to the Incarnation. He 
who believed on this Word, that is Christ, received eternal 

3. The Church is the communion of those who believe in the 
crucified Christ, and are subject to the influences of his death, 
and who are therefore holy and spiritual (sancti et spiritales). 
To this view we are conducted by the conclusion from the 
previous one, the humanist and universalist element being 
stript away. If we ask : Where is the Church ? Augustine 
answers in innumerable passages, wherever the communion of 
these holy and spiritual persons is found. They are Christ's 
body, the house, temple, or city of God. Grace on the one 
hand, faith, love, and hope on the other, constitute accordingly 
the notion of the Church. Or briefly : " the Church which is 
on earth exists by the remission of sins," or still more certainly 
"the Church exists in love."® In any number of expositions 
Augustine ignores every idea of the Church except this, which \/ 
leads him to think of a spiritual communion alone, and he is as 

^ See on this above, p. 151. 

s E.g.y Ep. 102, qu»5t 2, esp. § X2. 

> See above, p. 152, n. 2. 

^ Formerly more hiddenly, afterwards more manifestly. 

8 In this line of thought the historical Christ takes a very secondary place ; but it 
is quite different in others; see Sermo 116, 6: '* Per Christum factus est alter 

' *' Per remissionem peccatorum stat ecclesia qun est in terris." " In caritate stat 



indifferent to the conception of the Church being an outward 
communion of the Sacraments as to the last one now to be 

4. The Church is the number of the elect. The final conse- 
quence of Augustine's doctrine of grace (see next section) 
teaches that salvation depends on God's inscrutable predestina- 
tion (election of grace) and on that alone. Therefore the 
Church cannot be anything but the number of the elect. This 
, is not, however, absolutely comprehended in the external com- 
munion of the Catholic Church — for some have been elect, who 
were never Catholics, and others are elect who are not yet 
Catholics. Nor is it simply identical with the communion of 
the saints (that is of those who submit themselves in faith to 
the operation of the means of grace) ; for these may include 
for the time such as will yet relapse, and may not include others 
who will ultimately be saved. Thtis tfie thought of predestination 
shatters every notion of the Church — that mentioned under 2 can 
alone to some extent hold its ground — and renders valueless all 
divine ordinances, the institution and means of salvation. The 
number of the elect is no Church. The elect of God are to be 
found inside and outside the Church, under the operation and 
remote from the operation of sacramental grace ; God has his 
subjects among the enemy, and his enemies among those who 
for the time being are " good." * Augustine, the Catholic, did 
not, however, venture to draw the inexorable consequences of 
this conception ; if he was ever led to see them he contented him- 
self with bringing more closely together the notions of the exter- 
nal communion, communion of saints, Christ's body, city of God, 
kingdom of heaven, and number of elect, and with thus making 

1 We see here that the assumption that the Church was a corpus permixium or an 
externa communio sacramentorum was only a make-shift conception ; see the splendid 
exposition De baptis. V. 38, which, however, passes into the doctrine of pre- 

s De bapt. V. 3$ : " Numerus ille justorum, qui secundum propositum vocati 
sunt, ipse est (ecclesia). . . . Sunt etiam quidam ex eo numero qui adhuc nequiter 
vivant aut etiam in hseresibus vel in gentilium superstitionibus jaceant, et tamen 
etiam illic novit dominus qui sunt ejus. Namque in ilia ineffabili prxsdentia del 
multi qui foris videntur, intus sunt, et multi, qui intus videntur, foris sunt" 'We 
return to this in dealing with Augustine's doctrine of predestination. 


it appear as if they were identified. He stated his conviction 
that the number of the elect was substantially confined to the 
empirical Catholic Church, and that we must therefore use dili- 
gently all its benefits. But on the other hand, the faith that 
actuated his own life was too personal to let him bind grace, the 
source of faith, love, and hope, indissolubly to mechanical means 
and external institutions, and he was too strongly dominated 
by the thought of God's majesty and self-sufficiency to bring 
himself to examine God narrowly as to the why and how of his 
actions. He never did maintain that predestination was real- 
ised by means of the Church and its communication of grace.^ 

Augustine's different conceptions of the Church are only 
united in the person of their originator, whose rich inner life 
was ruled by varied tendencies. The attempts to harmonise 
them which occur in his writings are, besides being few in 
number, quite worthless. But the scholastic endeavour to com- 
bine or pack together the different notions by new and flimsy 
distinctions leads to theological chatter. Even Augustine's 
opponents, apparently felt only a small part of the inconsis- 
tencies. Men at that time were far from seeking in religious 
conceptions that kind of consistency which is even at the pre- 
sent day felt as a want by only a small minority, and in any 
case is no necessary condition of a sincere piety. Perhaps tl^^^^^^ 
most important consequence of Augustine's doctrine of the ^ 
Church and Sacraments consists in the fact that a complex of ^ 
magical ceremonies and ideas, which was originally designed to 
counter-balance a moralistic mode of thought based on the 
doctrine of free-will, now held its ground alongside of a reli- 
g ious framc of mindjThe Sacrament had a deteriorating effect 
on the latter; but, on the other hand, it was only by this com- 
bination that it was itself rendered capable of being reformed. 
It is impossible to mistake, even in the case of Augustine him- 
self, that the notion of the Church in which his own life centred 
was swayed by the thought of the certainty of grace and earnest- 
ness of faith and love, and that, similarly, his supreme intention, 
in his doctrine of the means of grace, was to establish the com- 
fort derived from the sure grace of God in Christ, which was 

^ Here Reuter is entirely right as against Domer. 


independent of human agency. Augustine subordinated the 
notions of the Church and Sacraments to the spiritual doctrine 
of God, Christ, the gospel, faith and love, as far as that was at 
all possible about A.D. 400. 

3. The Pelagian Controversy, The Doctrine of Grace 

and Sin. 

Augustine's doctrine of grace and sin was constructed inde- 
pendently of the Pelagian controversy. It was substantially 
complete when he entered the conflict ; but he was by no means 
clear as to its application in separate questions in the year of 
his conversion. At the time of his fight with Manichaeism 
(see the Tres libri de libero arbitrio) he had rather empha- 
sised, following the tradition of the Church teachers, the inde- 
pendence of human freedom, and had spoken of original sin 
merely as inherited evil. It was his clerical office, a renewed 
study of Romans, and the criticism of his spiritual development, 
as instituted in the Confessions, that first led him to the Neo- 
platonic Christian conviction that all good, and therefore faith, 
came from God, and that man was only good and free in depen- 
dence on God. Thus he gained a point of view which he con- 
fessed at the close of his life he had not always possessed, and 
which he opposed to the earlier, erroneous conceptions ^ that 
friends and enemies frequently reminded him of. It can be 
said that his doctrine of grace, in so far as it was a doctrine of 
God, was complete as early as A.D. 387 ; but it was not, in its 
application to Bible history, or to the problem of conversion 
and sanctification (in the Church), before the beginning of the 
fifth century. It can also be shown that he was at all times 
slightly influenced by the popular Catholic view, and this all the 
more as he was not capable of drawing the whole consequences 
of his system, which, if he had done so, would have led to 

This system did not evoke Pelagianism. Felagius had taken 
offence, indeed, before the outbreak of the controversy, at 
Augustine's famous sentence : " Grant what thou commandest, 

' De praed. 7 ; De dono persev. 55 5 c. Jul. VI. 39 ; also the Retract. 


and command what thou dost desire," and he had opposed it 
at Rome;^ but by that date his doctrine was substantially 
settled. The two great types of thought^ involving the question 
whether virtue or grace, morality or religion, the original and 
inalienable constitution of man, or the power of Jesus Christ was 
supreme, did not evolve themselves in the controversy. They 
gained in clearness and precision during its course,* buf both 
arose, independently of each other, from the internal conditions 
of the Church. We can observe here, if anywhere, the " logic " 
of history. There has never, perhaps, been another crisis of 
equal importance in Church history in which the opponents 
have expressed the principles at issue so clearly and abstractly. 
The Arian dispute before the Nicene Council can alone be 
compared with it ; but in this case the controversy moved in a 
narrow sphere of formulas already marked off by tradition. On 
the other hand, in spite of the exegetical and pseudo-historical 
materials that encumbered the problems in this instance also, 
there is a freshness about the Pelagian controversy and dis- 
putants that is wanting in the Greek contentions.* The 
essentially literary character of the dispute, the absence of great 
central incidents, did not prejudice it any way ; the main issue 
was all the freer of irrelevant matter. But it is its most 

1 De dono persev. 53 : " Cum libros Confessionum ediderim ante quam Pelagiana 
hsresis exstitisset, in eis certe dixi deo nostro et sepe dixi : Da quod jubes et jube 
quod vis. Quae mea verba Pelagius Romas, cum a quodam fratre et episcopo meo 
dissent eo prsesente commemorata, ferre non potuit et contradicens aliquanto 
commotius psene cum eo qui ilia commemoraverat litigavit. 

' De doctr. Christ. III. 46 : *' Hsresis Pelagiana multum nos, ut gratiam dei quae 
per dominnm nostrum Jesum Christum est, adversus eam defenderemus, exercuit." 

> Pelagius and his friends were always convinced that the disputed questions, while 
extremely important, were not dogmatic. We can once more, therefore, study very 
clearly what at that time was held to be dogma ; (see De gestis Pelog. 16 : Pelagius 
denied at the Synod at Diospolis that statements of high dogmatic import were his ; 
when it was proposed that he should anathematise those who taught them, he 
replied : " Anathematizo quasi stultos, non quasi hasreticos, si quidem non est dogma,^^ 
Caelestius says of Original sin (De pecc orig. 3) : '* licet quaestionis res sit ista, non 
hseresis." He also declared in the Libellus tidei (26) submitted at Rome: "si que 
vero praeter fidem quaestiones natse sunt . . . non ego quasi auctor alicujus dogmatis 
definita haec auctoritate statui." Hahn, § 134. This was also the view at first of 
Pope Zosimus (Ep. 3, 7). Julian (Op. imp. III. 106) saw dc^mas in the doctrine 
of the Trinity and Resurrection, " multisque aliis similibus.*' 


memorable feature that the Western Church so speedily and 
definitely rejected Pelagianism, while the latter, in its formulas, 
still seemed to maintain that Church's ancient teaching. In the 
crucial question, whether grace is to be reduced to nature, or the 
new life to grace, in the difficulty how the polar antitheses of 
" creaturely freedom and grace " are to be united,^ the Church 
placecJ itself resolutely on the side of religion. In doing so it 
was as far from seeking to recognise all the consequences that 
followed from this position as it had been a hundred years 
earlier at Nicaea ; indeed it did not even examine them. But 
it never recalled — perhaps it was no longer possible to recall — 
the step taken as soon as rationalistic moralism clearly revealed 
its character. 

Not only is the inner logic of events proved by the simultane- 
ous and independent emergence of Augustinianism and 
Pelagianism, but the how strikes us by its consistency. On the 
one side we have a hot-blooded man who had wrestled, while 
striving for truth, to attain strength and salvation^ to whom the 
sublimest thoughts of the Neoplatonists, the Psalms,and Paul had 
solved the problems of his inner life, and who had been over- 
powered byhis experience of theliving God. On the other, we have 
a monk and a eunuch,* both without traces of any inner struggles, 
both enthusiasts for virtue, and possessed by the idea of sum- 
moning a morally listless Christendom to exert its will, and of 
leading it to monachist perfection ; equally familiar with the 
Fathers, desirous of establishing relations with the East, and well 
versed in Antiochene exegesis;* but, above all, following that 

^ Augustinianism and Pelagianism were akin in form, and opposed to the previous 
mode of thought, in that both conceptions were based on the desire for unity. They 
sought to get at the root of religion and morality, and had ceased to be satisfied with 
recognising freedom and grace as independent and equivalent original data, as if 
religion with its blessings were at the same time superior and subordinate to moral 
goodness. The ** cither — or " asserted itself strongly. 

3 Pelagius, a monk leading a free life — Caelestius, "naturae vitio eunuchus matris 
utero editus,'' both laymen, Caelestius auditorialis scholasticus, Pelagius was a 
Briton (an Irishman ? called Morgan ?), but in view of the intercourse between differ- 
ent countries at the time, the birthplace is somewhat indifferent. Caelestius was won 
over by Pelagius in Rome, and then gave up his worldly career^ 

s It is uncertain whether Pelagius had been in the Blast before he appeared in 
Rome. Caelestius bad heard Rufinus in Rome, and stated that the latter would have 


Stoic and Aristotelian popular philosophy — theory of knowledge, 
psychology, ethics and dialectics — which numbered so many 
adherents among cultured Christians of the West The third 
member of the league, Julian of Eclanum, the early widowed 
Bishop, was more active and aggressive than the reserved and 
prudent Pelagius,* more circumspect than Caelestius, the agitator, 
and more cultured than either. Overbearing in manner,' he had 
a talent for dialectics, and, more stubborn than earnest, was en- 
dowed with an insatiable delight in disputing, and a boyish eager- 
ness to define conceptions and construct syllogisms. He was no 
monk, but a child of the world, and jovial by nature. He was, 
indeed, the first, and up to the sixteenth century, the unsur- 
passed, unabashed representative of a self-satisfied Christianity, 
Pelagius and Cselestius required the aid of Julian, if the moral- 
istic mode of thought was not to be represented from one side 
alone — the religious view needed only one representative. 
Certainly no dramatist could have better invented types of 
these two contrasted conceptions of life than those furnished by 
Augustine on the one hand, and the two earnest monks, 

nothing to do with the " tradux peccati" (De pccc. orig. 3). Marius Mercator has 
even sought to deduce Pelagianism from Theodore of Mopsuestia's teaching, and 
supposed that Rufinus '* the Syrian *' (identical (?) with Rufinus of Aquileia) brought 
it to Rome. Others have repeated this. While the direct points of contact at the 
beginning are problematical, it is certain (x) that Pelagianism and Theodore's teach- 
ing approximate very closely (see Gurjew, Theodor v. Mopsu. 1890 [in Russian] p. 
44 ff.) ; (2) that Theodore took up sides in the controversy against the teaching of 
Augustine and Jerome : he wrote a work "against those who maintain that men sin 
by nature, and not at their own discretion;" (see Photius cod. 177); (3) that the 
Pelagians looked to him as a protector and Julian of Eclanum fled to him ; (4) that 
the Pelagians and Semi- Pelagians were convinced that they could count on the 
East (and even on the Church of Constantinople) for support, and that some of them 
studied in Constantinople. Theodore's distinctive doctrine of Grace is not found in 
Pelagian writings ; for this reason he could not ally himself thoroughly with Julian 
(see Kihn, Theodor v. Mopsu. p. 42 ff.). But their affinity was unquestionable. It 
is therefore no mere inference that leads Cassian (c. Nestor. I. 3 sq.) to combine the 
Nestorians with the Pelagians ("cognata haeresis"). The interests and methods 
of both were the same. The comparison with Eunomius and A^tius is also 

1 De pecc. orig, 13 : ** Quid inter Pelagium et Cselestium in hac qusestione distabit, 
nisi quod ille apertior, iste occultior fuit ; ille pertinacior, iste mendacior, vel certe 
ille liberior, hie astutior." "Cadestius incredibili loquacitate." Many adherents of 
the new teaching preferred to be called '* Cselestiani." 


Pelagius and Caelestius, and the daring, worldly bishop Julian 
on the other.^ 

We have thus already indicated the origin of Pelagianism. 
// is the consistent outcome of the Christian rationalistn that had 
long been wide spread in the West, especially among the more 
cultured, that had been nourished by the popular philosophy 
influenced by Stoicism and Aristotelianism,^ and had by means 
of Julian received a bias to (Stoic) naturalism.^ (We may not 

1 The earnestness and "holiness" of Pelagius are often attested, especially by 
Augustine himself and Paulinus of Nola. His untruthfulness, indeed, throws a dark 
shadow on his character ; but we have not the material to enable us to decide confi- 
dently how far he was entrapped into it, or how far he reserved his opinion in the 
legitimate endeavour to prevent a good cause being stifled by theology. Augustine, 
the truthful, is here also disposed to treat charitably the falsehoods of his opponent. 
But we must, above all, reflect that at that time priests and theologians lied shame- 
lessly in self-defence, in speeches, protocols, and writings. Public opinion was much 
less sensitive, especially when accused theologians were exculpating themselves, as can 
be seen from Jerome's writings, though not from them alone. The people who got 
so angry over Pelagius' lies were no small hypocrites. Augustine was entitled to be 
wroth ; but his work De gestis Pelagii shows how considerate and tolerant he 
remained in spite of everything. Pelagius and Caelestius must have belonged to 
those lucky people who, cold by nature and temperate by training, never notice any 
appreciable difference between what they ought to do and what they actually do. 
Julian was an emotional character, a young man full of self-confidence (c. Julian II. 
30 : " itane tandem, juvenis confidentissime, consolari te debes, quia talibus di^plices, 
an lugere ? "), who, in his youth, had had dealings with the Roman Bishop Innocent 
(c. Julian I. 13) and Augustine, **vir acer ingenio, in divinis scripturis doctus, Grseca 
et Latina lingua scholasticus ; prius quam impietatem Pelagii in se aperiret, clarus in 
doctoribus ecclesise fuit " (Gennad. script, eccl. 46). In particular, he was unusually 
learned in the history of philosophy. Early author and bishop, he seems, like %,o 
many precocious geniuses, never to have got beyond the stage reached by the clever 
youth. Fancy and passionate eneigy checked his growth, and made him the fanatical 
exponent of the moralistic theory. In any case he is not to be taken lightly. The 
ancient Church produced few geniuses so bold and heedless. His criticism is often 
excellent, and always acute. But even if we admitted that his whole criticism wa< 
correct, we would find ourselves in the end in possession of nothing bat chaff. We 
also miss in his case that earnest sense of duty which we do not look for in vain in 
Pelagius. For this very reason, the delightful impression produced by a serene 
spirit, who appeared to avenge despised reason and authoritative morality, is always 
spoiled by the disagreeable effect caused by the creaking sound of a critical chopping- 
machine. An excellent monograph on Julian by Bruckner will appear immediately 
in the " Texten und Unters." 

3 Cicero's words: ''virtutem nemo unquam acceptam deo retulit/' could be 
inscribed as a motto over Pelagianism. 

s Pelagianism and Augustinianism are also akin in form, in that in both the old 
dramatic eschatological element, which had hitherto played so great a r6U in the 


overlook the fact that it originally fell back upon monachism, 
still in its early stages in the West, and that the two phenomena 
at first sought a mutual support in each other.)* Nature, free- 
will, virtue and law, these — strictly defined and made inde- 
pendent of the notion of God — were the catch- words of Pela- 
gianism : self-acquired virtue is the supreme good which is 
followed by reward. Religion and morality lie in the sphere of 
the free spirit ; * they are won at any moment by man's own 
eflTort The extent to which this mode of thought was diflfused 
is revealed, not only by the uncertain utterances of theologians, 
who in many of their expositions show that they know better,^ 
but above all by the Institutes of Lactantius.* In what follows 
we have first to describe briefly the external course of the con- 
troversy, then to state the Pelagian line of thought, and finally 
to expound Augustine's doctrine.* 

I. We first meet with Pelagius in Rome. In every century 
there have appeared preachers in Italy who have had the power 
of thrilling for the moment the vivacious and emotional Italians. 
Pelagius was one of the first (De pecc. orig. 24 : " He lived for 

West, and had bal'ince<l moralism, wholly disappears. But Julian was the first to 
secularise the type of thought. 

^ The Aiitiochene theologians also were notoriously zealous defenders of monach- 

^ Here we have a third point (see p. 170, n. i) in which Pela^ianism and Augustinian- 
ism are akin in form. Neither is interested in the mysticism of the cultus ; their 
authors rather strive to direct spiritual things in spiritual channels, though Augustine, 
indeed, did not entirely succeed in doing so. 

'See the remarks on Ambrose, p. 50. Perhaps the three rules of Tichonius best 
show the confusion that prevniled (Aug. de doctr. chrlst. III. 46 : "opera a deo dari 
merito fidei, ipsam vero fidem sic esse a nobis ut nobis non sit a deo." Yet Augustine 
sought (c. Julian. L. I.) to give traditional evidence for his doctrine. 

* One pa-Hsa^e (IV. 24 sq.) became famous in the controversy : " oportet roagistrum 
doctoremque virtutis homini simillimum fieri, ut vincendo peccatum doceat hominem 
vincere posse peccatum . . . ut desideriis carnis edomitis doceret, non necessitatis 
esse peccare, sed propositi ac voluntatis." 

B Our sources are the writings of Pelagius, Caelestius, and Julian (chiefly in Jerome 
and Augustine) Augustine's works (T. X. and c. 20, letters among which Epp. 186, 
194 are the most important), Jerome, Orosius, Marius Mercator, and the relevant 
Papal letters. Mansi T. IV., Hefele, Vol. II. For other literature see above, p. 
61. Marius was the most active opponent of the Pelagians towards the close of the 
controversy, and obtained their condemnation in the East (see Migne, T. 48, and the 
Art. in the Diet, of Chr. Biog). 


a very long time in Rome "). Roused to anger by an inert 
Christendom, that excused itself by pleading the frailty of the 
flesh and the impossibility of fulfilling the grievous command- 
ments of God, he preached that God commanded nothing im- 
possible, that man possessed the power of doing the good if 
only he willed, and that the weakness of the flesh was merely a 
pretext. ** In dealing with ethics and the principles of a holy 
life, I first demonstrate the power to decide and act inherent 
in human nature, and show what it can achieve, lest the mind 
be careless and sluggish in pursuit of virtue in proportion to its 
want of belief in its power, and in its ignorance of its attributes 
think that it does not possess them." ^ In opposition to Jovinian, 
whose teaching can only have encouraged laxity, he proclaimed 
and urged on Christians the demands of monachism ; for with 
nothing less was this preacher concerned.* Of unquestioned 
orthodoxy,^ prominent also as exegete and theologian in the 
capital of Christendom,* so barren in literary work, he was so 
energetic in his labour that news of his success penetrated to 
North Africa.* He took to do with the practical alone. Ap- 
parently he avoided theological polemics ; but when Augustine's 
Confessions began to produce their narcotic effects, he opposed 

1 Pelag. £p. ad Demetr. : " ne tanto remissior sit ad virtatem animus ac tardior, 
•qoanto minus se posse credat et dum quod inesse sibi ignorat id se existimet non 

' He was, perhaps, not the first ; we do not know whom Augustine meant in De 
pecc. orig. 25 (''Pelagius et Cffilestius hujus perversitatis auctores vel perhibentur 
vel etiam probantur, vel certe si auctores non sunt, sed hoc ab aliis didicenint, 
assertores tamen atque doctores"), and De gest Pelag. 61 ("post veteres 
haereses inventa etiam modo haaresis est non ab episcopis seu presbyteris vel 
quibuscumque clericis, sed a quibusdam veluti monachis "). Pelagius and Oelestius 
may themselves be understood in the second passage. 

s The Confession of Faith, afterwards tendered (Hahn, § 133), is clear and confident 
in its dogmatic parts. Tiie unity of the Godhead is not so strongly pronounced in 
the doctrine of the Trinity as with Augustine ; Pelagius resembled the Greeks more 
strongly in this respect also. 

^ At Rome Pelagius wrote the £p. to Paulinus of Nola, the three books De fide 
trinitatis, his Eulogia and Commentaries on Paul's Epistles, to which Augustine 
afterwards referred. The latter have been preserved for us among Jerome's works ; 
but their genuineness is suspected. Augustine mentions, besides, an £p. ad Constan- 
tium episc. (De grat. 39) ; it is not known when it was written. 

^ De gestis Pelag. 46 : " Pelagii nomen cum magna ejus laude cognovi." 


them. Yet positive teaching, the emphasising of the freedom 
of the will, always remained to him the chief thing. On the 
other hand, his disciple and friend Caelestius^ seems to have 
attacked original sin (tradux peccati) from the first His con- 
verts proclaimed as their watchword that the forgiveness of sin 
was not the object of infant baptism.^ When Alaric stormed 
Rome, the two preachers retreated by Sicily to North Africa, 
They intended to visit Augustine ; but Pelagius and he did not 
meet either in Hippo or Carthage.* Probably the former left 
suddenly when he saw that he would not attain his ends in 
Africa, but would only cause theological strife. On the other 
hand, Caelestius remained, and became candidate for the post of 
Presbyter in Carthage. But as early as A.D. 412 (411) he was 
accused by Paulinus, Deacon in Milan (afterwards Ambrose's 
biographer), at a Synod held in Carthage before Bishop 
Aurelius.* The points of the complaint, reduced to writing, 
were as follows : — He taught " that Adam was made mortal 
and would have died whether he had or had not sinned — that 
Adam's sin injured himself alone, and not the human race — 
infants at birth are in that state in which Adam was before his 
falsehood — that the whole human race neither dies on account 
of Adam's death or falsehood, nor will rise again in virtue of 
Christ's resurrection — the law admits men to the kingdom of 
heaven as well as the gospel — even before the advent of our 
Lord there were impeccable men, 1.^., men without sin — that 
man can be without sin and can keep the divine commands 
easily if he will." * Caelestius declared at the conference that 

1 By him are three works de ittoncuterio. *' Cffilesti opuscula," De gratia, 32. 

> So Augustine heard when in Carthage ; see De peca mer. III. 12. 

* De gestis Pelag. 46. 

4 Marios Merc. Common, and Aug., De pecc. orig., 2 sq. It is worthy of note 
that the complaint came from a disciple of Ambrose. This establishes the continuity 
of the Antipelagian teaching. 

^ " Adam m'ortalem factum, qui sive peccaret sive non peccaret moriturus fuisset — 
peccatum Ade ipsum solum Uesit, non genus humanum — parvuli qui nascuntur in eo 
statu sunt, in quo fiiit Adam ante prsevaricationem — neque per mortem vel pra^vari- 
cationem Adas omne genus hominum moritur, nee per resurrectionem Chrtsti omne 
genus hominum resurget — lex sic mittit ad regnum coelorum quomodo et evangelium 
— et ante adventum domini fuerunt homines impeccabiles, f ^., »ine peccato — homineni 


infants needed baptism and had to be baptised ; that since he 
maintained this his orthodoxy was proved ; that original sin 
(tradux peccati) was at any rate an open question, " because I 
have heard many members of the Catholic Church deny it, 
and also others assent to it." ^ He was, nevertheless, excom- 
municated. In the Libellus Brevissimus^ which he wrote in his 
own defence, he admitted the necessity of baptism if children 
were to be saved ; but he held that there was a kingdom of 
heaven distinct from eternal life. He would not hear of for- 
giveness of sin in connection with infant baptism.* He was 
indisputably condemned because he undid the fixed connection 
between baptism and forgiveness, thus, as it were, setting up 
two baptisms, and offending against the Symbol. He now 
went to Ephesus,' there became Presbyter, and afterwards 
betook himself to Constantinople. 

posse esse sine peccato et mandata dei facile custodire, si velit." On the trans- 
mission of these propositions, see Klasen, Pelagianismus, p4 48 f. 

^"Quia intra Catholicam constitutos plures audivi destniere nee non et alios 

' De pecc. mer. I. 58, 62. 

* He is said to have stayed before this in Sicily, but that is merely a guess on 
Augustine's part, an inference from the spread of Cselestian heresies there. See 
Augustine's interesting letters, £pp. 156, 157, 22, 23 sq. From these we learn that 
Cselestius actually taught : *' divitem manentem in divitiis suis regnum dei non posse 
ingredi, nisi omnia sua vendiderit : nee prodesse eidem posse, si forte ex ipsis divitiis 
mandata fecerit." In the *' definitiones Caelestii '* a document which came to Augus- 
tine from Sicily, and whose origin is indeed uncertain, tlie Stoic method of forming 
definitions is noteworthy. In it there also occurs the famous definition of sin — " that 
which can be let alone " — (Goethe gives the converse description : ** What, then, do 
you call sin ? With everyone I call it what can not be let alone.") The whole argu- 
ment serves to prove that sinct peccatum vitari potest^ man can be sinless (De perfect. 
just. I sq.). In the passage just cited, and again at Diospolis (De gestis Pelag. 29 — 
63) a work by Cselestius is mentioned, whose title is unknown. Not a few sentences 
have been preserved (I.e.) : ** Plus facimus quam in lege et evangelis jussum est — 
gratiam dei et adjutorium non ad singulos actus dari, sed in libero arbitrio esse, vel in 
lege ac doctrina — dei gratiam secundum merita nostra dari, quia si peccatoribus illam 
dat, videtur ess^ iniquus — si gratia dei est, quando vincimus peccata, ergo ipse est in 
culpa, quando a peccato vincimur, quia omnino custodire nos aut non potuit aut no- 
luit — unumquemque hominem omnes virtutes posse habere et gratias — filios dei non 
posse vocari nisi omni modo absque peccato fuerint effecti— oblivionem et ignorantiam 
non subjacere peccato, quoniam non secundum voluntatem eveniunt, sed secundum 
necessitatem — non esse liberum arbitrium, si dei indigeat auxilio, quoniam in propria 
voluntate habet unusquisque aut facere aliquid aut non facere — victoriam nostram non 


Pelagius had gone to Palestine. He followed difTerent tactics 
from his friend, who hoped to serve the cause by his maxim of 
" shocking deeply " (fortiter scandalizare). Pelagius desired 
peace ; he wrote a flattering letter to Augustine, who sent him 
a friendly but reserved answer.^ He sought to attach himself 
to Jerome, and to give no public offence. He plainly felt 
hampered by Cslestius with his agitation for the sinlessness of 
children, and against original sin. He wished to work for 
something positive. How could anyone thrust a negative 
point to the front, and check the movement for reform by pre- 
cipitancy and theological bitterness ? He actually found good 
friends.* But his friendly relations with John, Bishop of 
Jerusalem, could not please Jerome. Besides, reports of 
Pelagius' questionable doctrines came from the East, where, in 
Palestine, there always were numerous natives of the West. 
Jerome, who at the time was oi) good terms with Augustine, 
broke with Pelagius,* and wrote against him the Ep. ad Ctesi- 

ex del esse adjutoiio, sed ex libero arbitrio — si anima non potest esse sine peccato, 
ergo et deus subjacet peccato, cujus parsy hoc est anima, peccato obnoxia est — pseni- 
tentibus venia non datur secundum gratiam et misericordiam dei, sed secundum 
mertta et laborem eorum^ qui per panitentiam digni fuerint misericordiaj*^ We 
readily see, what indeed has not hitherto been clearly perceived, thcU this writing of 
Cctlestius must have been the real cause of offence* It could not but open the eyes 
even of the waverers. We return to it in the text. 

1 D^ gestis Pelag. 51, 52. The interpretation added by Augustine to a few con- 
ventional phrases used in the letter seems to us superfluous and laboured. He, be- 
sides, spared Pelagius in Carthage itself ; for in his first great work against Pelagian* 
ism, Depecc. mer. et remiss, et de bapt. parvulorum ad.Marcellinnm (412), the name 
of Pelagius is not yet mentioned. Before this, Augustine had sought to influence the 
Church only by sermons and discourses. Even the Tractate De spiritu et litera, 
which followed immediately, is not directed against Pelagius. 

* I am disposed to regard as a forgery the letter of condolence to the widow 
Livania (Fragments in Aug. De gestis Pel. 16, 19, Hieron. and Marius ; partly re* 
ported in the indictment at Diospolis). Yet we cannot decide with certainty. We 
must allow the possibility of Pelagius having so expressed himself in a flattering 
letter, not meant to be published, to a sanctimonious widow. Indeed, words like 
the following sound like mockery : *' Ille ad deum digne elevat manus, ille orationem 
bona consdentia efiundit qui potest dicere, tu nosti, domine, quam sanctn et inno- 
centes et mundae sunt ab omni molestia et iniquitate et rapina qnas ad te extendo 
manus, quemadmodum justa et munda labia et ab omni mendacio libera, quibos 
offero tibi deprecationem, nt mihi miserearls." Pharisee and Publican in one ! 

s The latter afterwards complained (c. JuL IL 36), " quod Hieronymus ei tarn* 
quam xmulo inviderit." That is very credible. 


phontem (Ep. 1J3), and the Dialog! c. Pelag., writings which 
constitute a model of irrational polemics. He put in the fore- 
ground the question, " whether man can bte without sin," and 
at the same time did all he could to connect Pelagius with the 
*' heretic " Origen and other false teachers. But still greater 
harm was done to Pelagius ^ by the appearance, at this precise 
moment, of the work already known to us, in which Cselestius. 
played so regardlessly the x61e of the enfant terrible of the 
party (see above).* 

Augustine's disciple, the Spanish priest Orosius, who had 
come to Jerome in order to call his attention to the dangers of 
Pelagianism, ultimately succeeded in getting John of Jerusalem 
to cite Pelagius, and to receive a formal report on his case in 
presence of his presbyters (A.D. 415). But the inquiry ended 
with the triumph of the accused. Orosius referred to the 
authority of his celebrated teacher, and to that of Jerome and 
the Synod of Carthage, but without success, and when Pelagius 
was charged with teaching that man could be sinless and needed 
no divine help, the latter declared that he taught that it was not 
possible for man to become sinless without divine grace. With 
this John entirely agreed. Now since Orosius for his part 
would not maintain that man's nature was created evil by God, 
the Orientals did not see what the dispute was all about The 
conference, irregfular and hampered by Orosius* inability to 
speak Greek, was broken off : it was said that the quarrel might 
be decided in the West, or more precisely in Rome.* Pelagius 
had repelled the first attack. But his opponents did not rest. 

1 From motives of prudence he did not answer Jerome publicly ; for he wished to 
avoid all controversy. Jerome was, for the rest, much more akin to him really than 
Augustine. The former maintained, e.£,, in a later controversial work, that it was 
orthodox to teach that the beginning of good resolves and faith is due to ourselves. 

' Pelagius himself wrote to the nun Demetrias (a.d. 413 or 414) a letter still pre- 
served, and forming the clearest memorial of his doctrine, and shortly before the 
Synod of Diospolis he composed his book De natura, in w hich there is much that he 
abjured at the Synod. It is extremely probable that this book also was not meant 
fbr the public, but only for his friends (against the charges of Jerome). Augustine 
as soon as he got it, refuted it in his tractate De natura et gratia (415). Pelagius had 
essayed to give a dialectical proof of his anthropology in the book. Augustine's 
work, De perfectione justitiae, composed also in A.D. 415, was aimed at Cxlestius. 

3 See Orosii Apolog. 


They succeeded, in December, 415, in getting him brought 
before a Palestinian Synod, presided over by Eulogius of Caesa- 
rea, at Diospolis, where, however, he was not confronted by his 
accusers.^ He was at once able to appeal to the favourable 
testimonies of many Bishops, who had warmly recognised his 
efforts to promote morality. He did not disown the proposi- 
tions ascribed to him regarding nature and grace, but he suc- 
ceeded in explaining them so satisfactorily, that his judges 
found him to be of blameless orthodoxy. The extravagant 
sentences taken from the letter to Livania he in part set right, 
and in part disowned, and when the Synod required him ex- 
pressly to condemn them, he declared : *' I anathematise them 
as foolish, not as heretical, seeing it is no case of dogma"* 
Hereupon the Synod decided : " Now since with his own voice 
Pelagius has anathematised the groundless nonsense, answering 
rightly that a man can be without sin with the divine help and 
grace, let him also reply to the other counts."* There were 
now laid before him the statements of Caelestius as to Adam, 
Adam's sin, death, new-born children, the perdition of the rich, 
sinlessness of God's children, the unessential character of divine 
assistance — in short, all those propositions which had either 
been already condemned at Carthage, or were afterwards ad- 
vanced by Caelestius in a much worse form. Pelagius was in 
an awkward position. He hated all theological strife ; he knew 
that Christian morality could only lose by it ; he wished to 
leave the region of dogma alone.* Caelestius had only said, 

* The indictment was composed by two Gallic Bishops, Heros and Lazarus, who 
had been forced to fly from their own country. It was very comprehensive ; but no 
strict line was drawn between what Pelagius had himself said, and what belonged to 
Caelestius. The two Bishops were, for the rest, afterwards treated as under suspicion 
at the conferences in Rome. 

> ' 'Anathematize quasi stultos, non quasi hsereticos, si quidem non est dogma." 
* " Nunc quoniam propria voce anathematizavit Pelagius incertum stultiloquium, 
xecte respondens, hominem cum adjutorio dei et gratia posse esse sine peccato, respon- 
deat et ad alia capitula." 

^ The above quoted phrase, " non est dogma,*' is extremely characteristic It 
shows how painfully anxious Pelagius was not to extend the sphere of dogma. In 
this he quite shared the feeling always entertained even to the present day by the 
Greeks. A Greek priest once said to the author that the great freedom of the Greek 
Church, compared with the Western, consisted in the possibility of holding very dif- 


indeed, what he himself had described as correct when among 
his intimate friends ; but the former had spoken publicly and 
regardlessly, and — ** the tone makes the music," Thus Pelagfius 
considered himself justified in disowning almost all those state- 
ments : " but the rest even according to their own testimony 
was not said by me, and for it I am not called upon to give 
satisfaction." But he added : " I anathematise those who hold 
or have held these views." With these words he pronounced 
judgment on himself; they were false. The Synod rehabilitated 
him completely : ** Now since we have been satisfied by our 
examination in our presence of Pelagius the monk, and he as- 
sents to godly doctrines, while condemning those things con- 
trary to the faith of the Church, we acknowledge him to belong 
to our ecclesiastical and Catholic Communion."^ 

No one can blame the Synod :* Pelagius had, in fact, given 
expression to its own ideas ; Augustinianism was neither known 
nor understood ; and the " heresy of Caelestius " * was con- 

But Pelagius now found it necessary to defend himself to his 

ferent views of sin, grace, justification, etc., if only the dogmas were adhered to. 
Pelagius accordingly opposed the introduction of a great new tract being included in 
the dogmatic sphere. He saw merely the inevitable evils of such an advance. We 
must judge his whole attitude up to his death from this point of view. Seeberg 
(Dogmengesch. I., p. 282 f,) holds that the phrase, '* non est dogma," was merely 
meant to provide a means of defence ; but if we consider Pelagius' whole attitude, we 
have no ground for taking any such view. 

1 De gestis Pelag. 44 : " Reliqua vero et secundum ipsorum testimonium a me dicta 
non sunt, pro quibus ego satisfacere non debeo." ** Anathematizo illos qui sic tenent 
aut aliquando tenuerunt." " Nunc quoniam satisfactum est nobis prosecutionibos 
praesentis Pelagii monachi, qui quidem piis doctrinis consentit, contraria vero ecdesxae 
fidei anathematizat, communionis ecclesiastiae eum esse et catholics confitemur." 

« ** Synodus miserabilis," Jerome, Ep. 143, 2. 

• Jerome, Ep. 143, i. 

4 In his work, De gestis Pelagii, Augustine, following a wiitten account, criticises 
the proceedings of the Synod, and shows that Pelagius uttered the falsehood. The 
latter, always anxious to keep peace, addressed a report of his own after the Synod to 
Augustine (I.e. 57 sq.), in order to influence him in his fiivour. But Augustine 
rightly gave the preference to the other account, since Pelagius had omitted from his 
the ** anathematizo." Again in the work De pecc. orig., Augustine shows, from 
the writings of Pelagius with which he was acquainted, that the latter had got off by 
evasions at Diospolis, and that he really held the same opinions as Oelestius. — ^We 
can only excuse the man by repeating that he wished to do practical work, and felt 
himself put out by dogmatic questions as to original sin, etc* 


own adherents. While on the one hand he was zealous in pro- 
moting in the West the effect of the impression produced by 
the decision in his favour, he wrote to a friendly priest/ that his 
statement, " that a man can be without sin and keep the com- 
mands of God easily * if he will," had been recognised as ortho- 
dox. His work, De natura, made its appearance at the same 
time, and he further published four books, De libero arbitrio,'^ 
which, while written with all caution, disclosed his standpoint 
more clearly than his earlier ones.* 

But North Africa^ did not acquiesce in what had taken place. 
The prestige of the West and orthodoxy were endangered. 
Synods were held in A.D. 416 at Carthage and Mileve, Augustine 
being also present at the latter. Both turned to Innocent of 
Rome, to whom Cxlestius had appealed long before. Soon 
after the epistles of the two Synods (Aug. epp. 175, 176,) the 
Pope received a third from five African Bishops, of whom 
Augustine was one (Ep. 177).® It was evidently feared that 
Pelagius might have influential friends in RomeJ The letters 
referred to the condemnation, five years before, of Caelestius ; 
they pointed out that the Biblical doctrine of grace and the 
doctrine of baptism were in danger, and demanded that, no 

* De gestis, 54 sq. 

* There was no word of " easily " at Diospolis. 

* Augustine's tractates, De g^tia Christi et De peccato originali, are directed against 
this book. 

* De pecc. orig. 20: *' Denique quomodo respondeat advertite et videte latebras 
ambiguitatis falsitati praeparare refiigia, ofiundendo caliginem veritati, ita ut etiam nos 
cum primum ea legimus, recta vel correcta propemodum gauderemus. Sed latiores 
disputationes ejus in libris, ubi se quantumlibet operiat, plerumque aperire compel- 
litur, fecerunt nobis et ipsa suspecta, ut adtentius intuentes inveniremus ambigua." 

" Orosius had carried there information of the events. 

* The letter was accompanied by Pelagius' work De natura and Augustine's reply. 

^ £p. 177, 2. — To about this date belong, according to Caspari's investigations, the 
Pelagian letters and tractates published by him A.D. 1890 (Briefe, Abhandlungen und 
Predigten, etc. pp. 3-167, 223-389, Christiania), and ascribed on good grounds to Agri- 
cola, of Britain. The fragments were written, however, in Italy. They add nothing 
new to oar knowledge of Pelagianism. But they confirm the fact that the earliest 
Pelagianism — before Julian — was associated with the most stringent monastic de- 
mands, and was extremely rigorous. In particular, Agricola flatly forbids the pos- 
session of wealth. He also regards ignorance of the divine will as no excuse for the 
sinner, but as an aggravation. 


matter how Pelagius might express himself, those should be 
excommunicated who taught that man could overcome sin and 
keep God's commands by virtue of his own nature, or that 
baptism did not deliver children from a state of sin. It was 
necessary to defeat the enemies of God's grace. It was not a 
question of expelling Pelagius and Caelestius, but of opposing a 
dangerous heresy.^ 

The Pope had, perhaps, never yet received petitions from 
North African Synods which laid such stress on the importance 
of the Roman Chair. Innocent sought to forge the iron while 
it was hot. In his four replies (Aug. Epp. 181-184 = Innoc 
Epp. 30-33) he first congratulated the Africans on having acted 
on the ancient rule, " that no matter might be finally decided, 
even in the most remote provinces, until the Roman Chair had 
been informed of it, in order that every just decision might be 
confirmed by its authority ; " for truth issued from Rome, and 
thence was communicated in tiny streams to the other Churches. 
The Pope then praised their zeal against heretics, declared it 
impious to deny the necessity of divine grace, or to promise 
eternal life to children without baptism ; he who thought other- 
wise was to be expelled from the Church, unless he performed 
due penance. "Therefore (Ep. 31, 6) we declare in virtue of 
our Apostolic authority that Pelagius and Caelestius are 
excluded from the communion of the Church until they deliver 
themselves from the snares of the devil ; " if they did so, they 
were not to be refused readmission. Any adherents of Pelagius 
who might be in Rome would not venture to take his part after 
this condemnation; besides, the acquittal of the man in the 
East was not certain ; nothing indubitably authentic had been 
laid before him, the Pope, and it appeared even from the pro- 
ceedings, if they were genuine, that Pelagius had got off by 
evasions ; if he felt himself to be innocent, he would have 

1 Epp. 177, 3 : " Non agitiir de uno Pelagio, qui jam forte correctus est" The 
consideration for him is very remarkable ; it is explained by his prestige and his justi- 
fication at DiospoUs. The letter of the five Bishops composed by Augustine and 
sent afterwards was obviously meant thoroughly to instruct the Pope, who was held 
to be insufficiently informed as to the importance of the question. Yet we have at 
the close, (c. 19) : '* Non rivulum nostrum tuo, largo fonti augendo refimdimus." 


hastened to Rome that he might be acquitted by us; he would 
not summon him, however; those among whom he resided 
might try him once more; if he recanted, they could not 
condemn him ; there lurked much that was blasphemous, but 
still more that was superfluous, in the book, De Natura ; 
" what orthodox believer might not argue most copiously about 
the potentiality of nature, free-will, the whole grace of God and 
daily grace ? "^ He who can read between the lines will readily 
observe that the Pope left more than one back-door open, and 
had no real interest in the controversy.* 

Pelagius now sent his remarkably well-composed confession 
of faith * to Rome, along with an elaborate vindication of him- 
self.* The accusation, that he refused baptism to children, or 
promised them admission to heaven without it, and that he 
taught that men could easily fulfil the divine commands, he 
declared to be a calumny invented by his enemies. As 
already at Diospolis, so now he guarded himself against the 
worst charges, though they were not indeed unwarranted, partly 
by mental reservations, and partly by modifications; but we 
cannot say that he was unfaithful to his main conception. He 
declared that all men had received the power to will aright 
from God, but that the divine aid (adjutorium) only operated 
in the case of Christians. It was blasphemous to maintain that 
God had given impossible commands to men. He took his 
stand between Augustine and Jovinian. This letter did not 
reach Innocent, he having died. It was thus received by his 
successor Zosimus. Cslestius, who had come to Rome and 
submitted a Libellus fidei that left nothing to be desired in 

1 Ep. 183, 2-5 : "Nam de naturae powibilitate, de Ubero arbitrio, et de omni del 
gratia et quotidiaiia gratia cui non sit recte sentienti uberrimum disputare ? '' 

s This is not the view that has hitherto been taken of the letters ; Zosimns has 
rather been simply contrasted with Innocent. Seeberg (p. 283) sees in the letter a 
monument of the Pope's helplessness in dogma : he was so ignorant as to admit that 
the Africans were right, and yet to make them talk like Pelagians. That seems to 
ine an exag£;eration. 

s Hahn. 133. In it we have the words ^'liberum sic confitemur arbitrium, ut 
dicamusnos indigere det semper anzilio'* (tiut in what does the auxilium coniii»t?), 
and "baptismum mram tenemus quod iisdem sacrarocnti verbis in infantibus, qui>>us 
etiam in majoribos, asseximus esse celebrandum.'' 

« Fragments in Aug., De GnUta Christi et de pecc orig. 


point of submission to the Pope, vindicated himself to the 
latter. Caelestius, on the whole, seems now, when matters had 
become critical, to have sounded the retreat ; ^ he at least modi- 
fied his statements, and took care not to come into conflict with 
the theory, deducible from the Church's practice, that infant 
baptism did away with sin.^ After these similar declarations of 
the two friends, Zosimus did not see that the dogma or Church 
practice of baptism was endangered in any respect. At a 
Roman Synod (417), Caelestius, who was ready to condemn 
everything banned by the Pope, was rehabilitated;' and 
Pelagius, for whom Orientals interceded, was likewise declared 
to have cleared himself. The complainants were described as 
worthless beings, and the Africans were blamed for deciding too 
hastily ; they were called upon to prove their charges within 
two months. This result was communicated in two letters^ to 
the African Bishops.* They were told that Pelagius had never 
been separated from the Church, and that if there had been 
great joy over the return of the lost son, how much greater 
should be the joy of believing that those about whom false 
reports had been circulated were neither dead nor lost (Ep. 

The Carthaginians were indignant, but not discouraged. A 

I Fragments of the Libellus in Aug., De pecc. orig. 5 sq. 

s L.C.: '* Infantes debere baptizari in remissionem peccatorum secundum regulam 
universalis ecclesiae et secundum evangelii sententiam confitemur, quia dominus 
statuit, regnum coelorum non nisi baptizatis posse conferri ; quod, quia vires noHira 
nan habenty conferri necesse est per gratiae libertatem. In remissionem peccatorum 
baptizandos infantes non idcirco diximus, ut peccatum ex traduce firmaie videamur 
(he thus clung to this point), quod longe a catholico sensu alienum est, quia peccatum 
non cum homine nascitur, quod postmodum exercetur ab homine, quia non naturae 
delictum, sed voluntatis esse denionstnitur. £t illud ergo confiteri congnium, ne 
diversa baptismatis genera facere videamur, et hoc pi^munire necessaiium est, ne per 
mysterii occasionem ad creatoris injuriam malum, antequam fiat ab homine, tradi 
dicatur homini per naturam." 

' He wisely refused to discuss the separate points of complaint. 

^ Zosim., Epp. ?, 4. 

B The Bishops are arrogantly rebuked. For the rest, the whole question in 
dispute is regarded as due to an epidemic of curiosity, as superfluous and pernicious : 
one ought to abide by Scripture. No wonder that Rome hesitated to declare a question 
important in which the disputants were agreed as regards Holy Scripture, dogma, and 
Church practice. The Church only took hesitatingly the momentous step involved in 
acknowledging anything outside of these to be of equal importance to " dogmas." 


Synod (417) determined to adhere to the condemnation until it 
was ascertained that both heretics saw in gjrace not merely an 
enlightenment of the intellect, but the only power for good 
(righteousness), without which we can have absolutely no true 
religion in thought, speech, and action.^ This resolution was 
conveyed to Zosimus. Paulinus of Milan declared at the same 
time in a letter to the Pope that he would not come to Rome 
to prosecute Caelestius, for the case had been already decided.* 
This energetic opposition made the Pope cautious. In his 
reply,* he glorified Peter and his office in eloquent language, 
but changed his whole procedure, declaring now that the 
Africans were under a mistake if they believed that he had 
trusted Caelestius* in everything, and had already come to a 
decision. The case had not yet been prejudiced, and was in 
the same position as before (March, 418). Immediately after 
the arrival of this letter in Africa, a great Council was held 
there — more than 200 Bishops being present — and Pelagianism 
was condemned, without consulting the Pope, in 8 (9) unequivo- 
cal Canons;^ indeed, such was the indignation felt against 
Zosimus — and on different grounds — that the Council, in its 
17 Canon, threatened with excommunication any appeal to 
Rome.® But it had first assured itself of the Emperor's support, 
who had published on the 30th April, 418, an edict to the 
Prefect of the Praetorium, banishing the new heretics with their 
followers from Rome, permitting their prosecution, and threat- 
ening the guilty with stringent penalties^ 

I Prosper, c. collat. 5. 
> Zosim., Ep. 10. 

* Zosim., £p. 15. 

* It was with Caelestius that he was chiefly concemecL 

3 Let him be condemned : who derives death from natural necessity ; who denies 
the presence of original sin in children and rebels against Paul (Rom. V. 12) ; who 
assigns any form of salvation to unbaptised children ; who refers God's justifying 
grace in Christ merely to past sins ; who applies grace to knowledge alone, while 
not perceiving in it the power necessary to us ; who sees in grace merely a means of 
rendering the good easier, but not its indispensable condition ; or who derives the 
confessions of sin by the pious from humility alone, and interprets their prayer for 
pardon of guilt as appljdng solely to the guilt of others. 

* The proceedings in Mansi III., p. 810 sq. 

7 The edict in Aug. 0pp. X. app., p. 105. It is certainly doubtful whether the 


Zosimus, whose action had been hitherto influenced by the 
strength of Pelagius* party in Rome, now laid down his arms. 
In his Ep, tractatoria to all the Churches,^ he informed them of 
the excommunication of Caelestius and. Pelagius, was now 
convinced that the doctrines of the absolute importance of justi- 
fying grace, and of original sin, belonged to the faith . {de fide\ 
and required all Bishops to signify their assent by their signa- 
tures. But eighteen Bishops refused;* they appealed to a 
General Council, and recalled with reason the fact that the Pope 
had himself formerly considered a thorough conference to be 
necessary. In their name Julian of Eclanum wrote two bold 
letters to the Pope,* while also rejecting the propositions once 
set up by Caelestius.* From now onwards the stage was occu- 
pied by this " most confident young man," for whom Augustine, 
a friend of his family, possessed so much natural sympathy, and 
whom, in spite of his rudeness, he always treated, as long as the 
case lasted, affectionately and gently.*^ At the instigation of 
the new Pope, Boniface, Augustine refuted one of the letters 
sent to Rome and circulated in Italy, as well as another by 
Julian (addressed to Rufus of Thessalonica) in his work c, duos 
epp. Pelagianorum (420). Julian, who had resigned or been 
deposed from his bishopric, now took up his sharp and 

Africans effected this; perhaps it was instigated from Milan or by Italian Anti- 
Pelagians. The attempt has been made to prove that Zosimus' change of front was 
independent of the edict. 
1 Aug. Opp. X. app., p. 108. 

* C. duas epp. PeL I. 3. 

' See Op. imperf. I. 18. Fragments in Marius. 

* The confession of faith contained in one of the letters (Ilahn, § 135) shows also 
that Julian wished to stand by Pelagius. 

B We must remember in excuse of Julian's violent and unmeasured polemics that 
he was defending an already hopeless case. He himself knew this— Op. imp. L I, 2 : 
"magnis impedimentis angoribus, quos intuenti mihi hac tempestate ecclesiarum 
statum partim indignatio ingerit partim miseratio" — "labentis mundi odia promere- 
mur^' — " rebus in pejorem partem properantibus, quod mundi fini suo incumbentis 
indicium est" (l.c I. 12). His violence is in any case not explained from secret 
uncertainty, for there certainly have been few theologians so thoroughly convinced as 
he of being on the right path. Religious pioneers, besides, have as a rule suipassed 
their opponents in strength of conviction. They also possess it more readily ; for the 
certainty of religion and morality, as they understand it, is involved for them in 
personal assurance. 


restless pen. No one else pressed Augustine so hard as he ; he 
compelled him to work out the consequences of his line of 
thought; he displayed inexorably the contradictions in his 
works, and showed how untenable was the great man's doctrine 
when it was fully developed ; he pointed out the traces of a 
Manichsean type of thinking in Augustine, traces of which the 
latter tried in vain to get rid. He could indeed explain that he 
did not mean them, but could not show that they were not 
there. Julian's charge that Augustine's teaching desecrated 
marriage had made an impression on the powerful Comes 
Valerius in Rome. Augustine sought to weaken the force of 
the charge in his writing, De nuptiis et concupiscentia. Lib. I. ; 
but Julian now wrote a work in four volumes against the 
treatise. Augustine based a reply on extracts from the latter 
(De nupt et concup., 1. II.), and when he received the work itself, 
he substituted, for this preliminary answer, a new work : Libri sex 
c Julianum haeresis Pelagianse dcfensorem. Julian replied to the 
" Preliminary pamphlet" with a work in eight volumes (written 
already in Cilicia). Augustine was engaged with the answer 
to this work, Opus imperf, c, Julianum (1. sex), up to his death. 
Since he follows Julian almost sentence by sentence, we possess 
the most accurate information as to the latter's positions.^ In 
his latest years, Augustine composed other four writings which 
are not aimed directly at the Pelagians, but discuss objections 
raised against his own doctrine by Catholics or Semi-Pelagians' 
(De gratia et libero arbitrio ; De correptione et gratia : to the 
monks of Hadrumetum ; De praedestinatione sanctorum and De 
dono perseveranti£ : to Prosper and Hilary as against the 
Gallic monks). In these works the doctrine of predestinating 
grace is worked out in its strictest form. 

The Pelagians nowhere came to form a sect or schismatical 
party.* They were suppressed in the years after A.D. 418, with- 
out it being necessary to apply any special force. The Emperor 

1 When we realise the exceptional qualities of two such outstanding opponents, we 
wish that nature had rolled them into one. What a man that would have been ! 

3 This name appears first in the Middle Ages. In ancient times men spoke of 
the " reliquiae Pelagianorum." 

* They still hoped for their rehabilitation up to a.d. 430, and urged it in Rome on 
every new Pope. 


once more published a sharp edict. Caelestius, who had hitherto' 
escaped punishment, was still chiefly dealt with. He was for- 
bidden to reside in Italy, and sentence of exile was pronounced 
on anyone who should harbour him. Pelagius is said to have 
been condemned by a Synod in Antioch. But this information, 
given by Marius, is uncertain. He disappears from history.' 
Julian and other Pelagians took refuge with Theodore in Cilicia. 
There they were at first left in peace ; for either the controversy 
was not understood, or the attitude to Augustinianism was 
hostile. The indefatigable Caelestius was able in A.D. 424 to 
demand once more an inquiry in Rome from Bishop Caelestine, 
but then betook himself, without having obtained his object, to 
Constantinople, where, since Julian and other friends were also 
assembled, the party now pitched their headquarters.* The 
Patriarch Nestorius joined hands with them, a proceeding fatal 
to both sides ; for Nestorius thereby incurred the displeasure of 
the Pope, and the Pelagians fell into the ranks of the enemies 
of the dominant party in the East (Cyril's). Marius Mercator 
agitated successfully against them at the Court, and in the 
comedy at Ephesus Cyril obliged the Roman legates by getting 
the Council to condemn the doctrine of Caelestius, Rome having 
concurred in his condemnation of Nestorius.* Thus Pelagianism 
had brought upon itself a kind of universal anathema, while in 
the East there were perhaps not even a dozen Christians who 
really disapproved of it,* and the West, in turn, was by no 
means clear as to the consequences to which it would necessarily 
be led by the condemnation of the Pelagians. 

II. As regards the history of dogma, the "system" of 
Pelagianism, i.e. of Julian of Eclanum, is tolerably indifferent ; 

' It is noteworthy that Julian speaks in his works as if he now alone represented 
the desHtuta Veritas^ a claim that Augustine tells him shows extreme arrogance (see c. 
Jul. II. 36). 

3 I do not here discuss more minutely the history of Julian, who once more paid a 
passing visit to Rome ; see art. in the Encycl. of Christ. Biogr. 

s Julian's name ¥ras expressly mentioned ; perhaps he was in Ephesus with Nes- 
torius. It is maintained by Marius that he had been already condemned in his 
absence (with Theodore's concurrence) at a Cilician Synod. 

4 Bishop Atticus of Constantinople was undoubtedly a decided enemy of the 
Pelagians ; but we do not know his motives. 


for It was only produced after the whole question was already 
decided, and its author was a theologian, who, by renouncing 
his ecclesiastical office, had himself thrown away much of his 
claim to be considered. From the standpoint of the history of 
dogma, the controversy closed simply with rejection of the 
doctrines, (i) that God's grace (in Christ) was not absolutely 
necessary — before and after baptism — for the salvation of every 
man, and (2) that the baptism of infants was not in the fullest 
sense a baptism for remission of sins (in remissionem pecca- 
torum). The contrary doctrines were the new ^^ dogmas,^* But, 
since those two doctrines and the main theses of Pelagianism 
involved a multitude of consequences, and since some of these 
consequences were even then apparent, while others afterwards 
occupied the Church up till and beyond the Reformation, it is 
advisable to point out the fundamental features of the Pelagian 
system, and the contrary teaching of Augustinianism.^ In- doing 
so we have to remember that Pelagius would have nothing to do 
with a system. To him " De fide " (of the faith) meant simply 
the orthodox dogma and the ability of man to do the good. All 
else were open questions which might be answered in the affirma- 
tive or negative, among the rest original sin, which he denied. 
He laid sole stress on preaching practical Christianity, ue,y the 
monastic life, to a corrupt and worldly Christendom, and on de- 
priving it of the pretext that it was impossible to fulfil the 
divine commands. Caelestius, at one with his teacher in this 
respect, attacked original sin more energetically, and fought by 
the aid of definitions and syllogisms theological doctrines which 
he held to be pernicious. But Julian was the first to develop 
their mode of thought systematically, and to elevate it into a 
Stoic Christian system.^ Yet he really added nothing essential 
to what occurs scattered through the writings of Pelagius and 
Caelestius. He only gave it all a naturalistic tendency, i.e,, he 
did away with the monastic intention of the type of thought 
But even in Pelagius, arguments occur which completely contra- 

1 This is also necessary because the mode of thought at the root of Pelagianism 
never reappeared — up to the time of Socinianism — in so pure a form as in Julian. 

3 Augustine says very gracefully (c. Jul. VI. 36): "Qua tu si non didicisses, 
Pelagiani dogmatis machina sine architecto necessario remansisset." 


diet the ascetic monastic conception. In his letter to Deme- 
trius he shows that fasting, abstinence and prayer are not of 
such great importance ; they should not be carried to excess, as 
is often done by beginners ; moderation should be observed in 
all things, therefore even in good works. The main thing 
is to change one's morals and to practise every kind of virtue. 
And thus no one is to think that the vow of chastity can let 
him dispense with the practice of spiritual virtues and the fight 
with anger, vanity, and pride, etc. // was the actual development 
4>f the character in goodness on which he laid stress. The monas- 
tic idea appears subordinate to this thought, which in some 
passages is expressed eloquently. The ancient call to wise 
moderation has not a naturalistic impress in Pelagius. In 
treating the thought of these three men as a whole we have to 
remember this distinction, as also the fact that Pelagius and 
Caelestius for the most part paid due heed to Church practice, 
and besides avoided almost entirely any appeal to the ancient 
philosophers.^ They were all actuated by a courageous confi- 

' As regards form (Klasen, pp. 81-116), ue. in their teaching as to Scripture, tradi- 
tion, and authority, no innovations occur in Pelagius and Cadestius. Pelagianism, 
indeed, implicitly involves the rejection of every doctrine, qua ratume defmdi non 
potest^ and he interpreted Scripture accordingly (see examples of exegesis in Klasen 
I.C.). In his treatise, De natura, he quotes the Fathers in support of his form of doc- 
trine, as Augustine did for his (Chrysostom was especially often quoted, but so also 
were Jerome, Ambrose, and Lactantius). Julian, on the contrary, expressly gave the 
first place to ratio: " Quod ratio arguit, non potest auctoritas vindicare'' (Op. imp. 
II. 16). With Origen — in sharp contrast to Augustine — he observes the rule not 
that a thing is good, because God wills it and it stands in Scripture, but that reason 
-establishes what is good : * ' Hsereat hoc maxime prudentis ani mo lectoris, omnibus scr ip< 
turis sacris solum illud, quod in honorem dei catholici sapiunt, contineri, sicut frequen- 
tium sententiarum luce illustratur, et sicubi durior elocutio moverit qusestionem, certum 
quidcm esse, non ibi id quodinjustum est loci illius auctorumsapuisse ; secundum id au tern 
debere intelligi, quod et ratio perspicua et aliorum locorum, in quibus non est ambigu- 
itas, splendor apparuerit" (I.e. II. 22; cf. I. 4). " Sanctas quidem apostoli esse 
paginas confiteinur, non ob aliud, nisi quia roHont, pietati, fidei congruentes erudiunt 
nos ** (II. 144). Julian declares time and again that " wrong" and right must be the 
standard to be applied to all traditions regarding God. Now if the interpretations of 
Scripture given by Pelagius and CsBlestius are ''shallow," Julianas are sometimes 
quite profane. Our first parents clothed themselves after the Fall, because they were 
cold, and had learned for the first time the art of making clothes (c Jul. IV. 79 sq.). 
But the rationalist standpoint of historical criticism appears most clearly in Julian's 
attitude to tradilioo. He is the author of the fieimous saying that we ought to weigh 
and not count opinions (c Julian, II. 35 : '* non numerandas, sed ponderandas esse 


dence in man's capacity for goodness, along with the need for 
clearness of thought on religious and moral questions. 

I. God's highest attributes are his goodness and justice, and, 
in fact, righteousness is the quality without which God cannot 

sententias ; ad aliquid inveniendum multitudinem nihil prodesse ciecorum " ). He 
says boldly that in dogmatic questions we must set aside the strepitus turbarum de 
omni ordine converscUionis hominum, al] de pUbeia face selluiarii, militcs^ scholastici 
auditaria2esy tabemarii, cetarii^ coquiy lanii, cuhlescentes ex motuuhis dissoluti^ and 
further the turba qualiumcumque cUricorum ; *'^ hanorandam esse paucitatem^ quam 
ratio, eruditio, libertasque sublimat." Compare Op. imperf. I. 41, where Julian says 
*' et si philosophorum ego senatum advocavero, tu continuo sellularios, opifices 
omneque in nos vulgus accendas," and II. 14 : *' Traduciani pro se sursum deorsum 
plebecularum aut ruralium aut theatraliiim scita commendant." He justifies the 
setting aside of laymen and the uneducated clergy; he says: ^*quia non possunt 
secundum categoiias Aristotelis de dogmaiibus jtidtcare,^^ Here (c. Julian. II. 36, 37) 
Julian's chief interest becomes clearly evident. Without Aristotle^ no theology; every- 
thing else Is clod-hoppers' theology ; but we have the cultured on our side (l.c. V. i., 
Augustine suggests that Ls a contention of all heretics, already soiled and worn by 
frequent use). Julian adhered to Aristotle and Zeno ; he knew their ethics thoroughly 
and reflected on their differences (c. Jul. II. 34 ; VI. 36 ; VI. 64 : ** de scholis Peri- 
pateticorum sive Stoicorum;" Op. impf. I, 35, 36). In contents and method his 
teaching was .closely related to that of these philosophers— Augustine alludes very 
often to this. Besides, he quotes (c. Jul. IV .75) Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes, 
Anaxagoras, Xenophanes, Parmenides, Leucippus, Democritus, Empedocles, Hera- 
clitus, Melissus, Plato, and Pythagoras (**quisnon ipso nominum sectarumque con- 
globatarum strepitu terretur?" remarks Augustine). Of these philosophers — ^along 
with whom Sdllust and Cicero are quoted — ^Julian says (I.e.), while granting they 
were idolaters ("licet in scholis aliud disserentes "), that they had enjoyed, in the 
midst of many errors, '*de naturalibus aliquas veritatis partes," and that these were 
rightly to be preferred to the dogma of original sin. Augustine ju.stly speaks of 
" nebulae de Aiistotelicis categoriis ; " but the Stoic element prevails in Julian. The 
whole conception of rcUio and Nominalism is Stoic. The mania for definitions is also 
Stoic and Ciceronian. Without definition no knowledge (Op. imp. II. 30, said 
against Augustine : ''Ad quid ergo persuadendum aut scripturas releges aut conscios 
nominabis, qui ctdhuc quod sentis non potes definire *'). But these definitions never 
rise out of the actual and thoroughly observed case — and that was indeed also usual 
in the Stoa — but glide over it. Julian by no means despised altogether the appeal to 
the Fathers. Here also he proved himself reasonable. It was only their formal 
authority that he would have nothing to do with. His standpoint is most clearly ex- 
pressed in c. Jul. I. 29 : '' Cum igitur liquido clareat banc sanam et veram esse 
sententiam, quam primo loco ratio^ deinde scripturarum munivit auctoritas et quam 
scautorum virorum semper celebravit eruditio^ qui tamen veritati ctuctoritcUem non suo 
tribuere consensu, sed testimonium et gloriam de ejus suscepere consortio, nullum 
prudentem conturbet conspiratio perditorum." Here we perceive the descending 
series of authorities, which is yet only authoritative, in so far as the witnesses are 
rational. The '* Fathers '' he really r^arded as nothing, and well he knew how to 


be thought of at all ; indeed, it can even be said that there is a 
God, because there is righteousness.^ "Justice, as it is wont to 
be defined by the learned (s. Aristotle) and as we can under- 
stand, is (if the Stoics will allow us to prefer one to the other) 
the greatest of all virtues, discharging diligently the duty of 
restoring his own to each, without fraud, without favour."^ Its 
genus is God ; its species are the promulgation and administra- 
tion of the laws ; its difference consists in its being regulated by 
circumstances ; its modus in its not requiring from anyone more 
than his powers permit, and in not excluding mercy ; its quality 
in sweetness to pious souls. This notion of righteousness 
is so sure that it appears also to be ideally superior to 
Holy Scripture (see Op. imperf. II. ly): "Nothing can be 
proved by the sacred writings which righteousness cannot 

2. It follows, from the goodness and righteousness of God, 
that everything created by him is good — and that not only at 
the beginning — but what he now creates is likewise good.* Ac- 
make use of the admissions' wrung from Augustine regarding their authority (Op. imp. 
IV. 112): *' Sed bene quod nos onere talium personanim prior levastL Nam in 
libro ad Timasium cum s. Pelagius venerabiiium virorum tarn Ambrosii quam 
Cypriani recordatus fuisset, qui liberum arbitrium in libris suis commendaveranty 
respondisti nulla te gravari auctoritate talium, ita ut diceres eos processu vitse melioris, 
si quid male senserant, expiasse." **Numquid** — exclaims Julian (l.c. IV. no) — 
*' legi dei aut operi dei scripta disputatorum pnejudicant ! " Julian felt most acutely 
his having to call to its senses the West, in bondage to "stupid and godless" dogma ; 
in the East alone did he now see salvation. The rock on which he stood was 
reason ; his winged organ was the word. He knew that God would honour him for 
having alone to lead the cause of righteousness. lie confronted, as the most resolute 
** Aufkl&rer" of the ancient Church, its greatest religious personality. 

' Caelestius in Aug., De perf. just. 15 ; Julian in the Op. imp. I. 27-38 and often. 
The thought of goodness — characteristically enough — is dropped, or accompanies it^ 
as it were, incidentally. The idea of righteousness as legislative, distributive, and 
social, governs the whole system. *' Lex dei fons ac magistra justitise," Op. imp* 
I. 4. 

3 Op. imp. I. 35 : ** Justitia est, ut ab eruditis definiri solet (s. Aristoteles), et ut 
nos intelligere possumus, virtus (si per Stoicos liceat alteri alteram praeferre), virtutum 
omnium maxima fungens diligenter officio ad restituendum sua unicuique, sine fraude, 
sine gratia. '^ By this is gained for religion and morality the supreme principle by 
which man confix>nts God as judge in complete independence. 

> " Nihil potest per sanctas scripturas ptobari, quod justitia non possit tueri.'* 

4 Op. imp. VI. 16. 


cordingly, the creature is good, and so also are marriage, the 
law, free will, and the saints. ^ 

3. Nature, which was created good, is not convertible, " be- 
cause the things of nature persist from the beginning of existence 
(substance) tc *'■« end." ^ " Natural properties are not converted 
by accident' . • jrdingly, there can be no ** natural sins " 
(peccata naturalia) ; for they could only have arisen if nature 
had become evil. 

4. Human nature is thus indestructibly good, and can only 
be modified accidentally. To its constitution belongs — and 
that was very good — the will as free choice ; for " willing is 
nothing but a movement of the mind without any compulsion."* 
This free choice, with which reason is implied,* is the highest 
good in man's constitution, "he who upholds grace praises 
human nature." ® We know that Pelagius always began in his 
sermons by praising man's glorious constitution, his nature 
which shows itself in free will ^ and reason, and he never 
wearied of extolling our "condition of willing" (conditio 

^ Aug. c. duas epp. Pelag. III. 24 : '* Hae sunt nebulse Pelagianorum de laude 
creature, laude nupdarum, laude legis, laude liberi arbitrii, laude sanctorum, IV. i, 2. 

' '* Quia naturalia ab initio substantive usque ad terminum illius perseverant." (Op. 
imp. II. 76). 

' Naturalia per accidens non convertuntur." **Quod innascitur usque ad finem 
ejus, cui adhaeserit, perseverat." L.c. I. 61. 

* ** Voluntas est nihil aliud quam motus animi cogente nullo" ( Op. imp. I. V. ). More 
precisely (I. 78-82) : ** Libertas arbritii, gua a deo emancipcUus hotno est^ in admittendi 
peccati et abstinendi a peccato possibililate consistit . . Posse bonum facere aula 
virtutis est, posse malum facere testimonium libertatis est. Per hoc igitur suppetit 
homini habere proprium bonum, per quod ei subest posse £acere malum. Tota erga 
divini pUnitudo judicii tarn junctum haSet ncgotium cum hoc libertate hominum, 
ut harum qui unam agnoverit ambas naverit. . . . Sic igitur et libertas humani cus- 
todiatur arbitrii, quemadmodum divina aequitas custoditur . . . Libertas igitur arbitrii 
possibilitas est vel admittendi vel vitandi peccati, expers cogentis necessitatis, quae in 
5UO utpote jure habet, utrum surgenlium partem sequatur, 1.^., vel ardua asperaque 
virtutum vel demersa etpa lustria voluptatum.'* 

* The Pelagians were very silent as to the relation of ratio and liberum arbitrium. 
They did not even notice that it involved a main difficulty. All that they found it 
necessary to say consisted in quite childish arguments. Even the above definition of 
the will is absolutely untenable. After all, reason impels to what is bad as well as 
good ; the wicked man does not act, at least, without reason. But what doesjustitia 
mean, if the separate acts of will always pass into vacancy ? The original equilibrium, 
forsooth, remains fixed 

' Op. imp. III. 188 : " Qui gratiam confirmat, hominum laudat naturam.^' 
7 ** Libertas utiiusque partis." 



voluntatis), as contrasted with the " condition of necessity " 
(conditio necessitatis) of irrational creatures. " Nature was 
created so good that it needs no help." ^ With reason as guide 
(duce ratione) man can and should do the good, />., righteous- 
ness (jus humanae societatis).* God desires a voluntary per- 
former of righteousness (voluntarius executor justitiae) ; it is 
his will that we be capable of both, and that we do one. Ac- 
cording to Pelagius freedom of will is freedom to choose the good; 
according to fulian it is simply freedom of choice. The possibility 
of good as a natural faculty is from God,' willing and action are 
our business;^ the possibility of both (possibilitas utriusque) is 
as a psychological faculty inevitable (a necessario) ; for this 
very reason a continual change is possible in it.^ 

5. Evil, sin, is willing to do that which righteousness forbids, 
and from which we are free to abstain,® accordingly what we 
can avoidJ It is no element or body, no nature — in that case 
God would be its author ; nor is it a perverted nature (natura 
conversa), but it is always a momentary self-determination of 
the will, which can never pass into nature so as to give rise to an 
evil nature,^ But if this cannot happen, so much the less can 
evil be inherited ; for that would do away with the goodness 

* Ep. ad Demetr. 

3 Op. imp. I. 79. Mere the humanist notion of the good is clear. To this Julian 
adhered, in so far as he followed out the thought at all. 

s De grat. Christi 5 ; de nat. et gratia, passim. (Expositions by Pelagius). 

^ The notion of freedom taught by the Pelagians lies in the possibilitas^ and that 
according to Julian, the possibilitas uiriusque^ not merely boni. In Pelagius the 
possibilitas boni^ and therewith responsibility, are more prominent. He does not 
merely say that man has freedom of choice, but also (ep. ad Demetr.) that ** in animi 
nostris natuialis qusedam sanclitas est." 

' Klasen (pp. 229-237) distinguishes a \hxttio\^ possibilitas in the Pelagians' teach- 
ing, f.^., so many distinctions are, in fact, required, if we would escape the contradic- 
tions covered by the notion. 

• Op. imp. I. 44 ; v. 28, 43 ; VI, 17 and often. 
^ Csclest. in Aug. de perfect, i. 

* Besides the indefiniteness of the relation of reason to freedom, the wrong defini- 
tion of the will, the obscurity as to the notion of ratio, and the contradictions in the 
notion oi possibilitas , especially characteristic are the inability to give a concrete defini- 
tion of evil, and the mythological fashion in which nature and will are distinguished. 
Why should will [and nature be so completely divided, if the possibilitas belongs to 
nature ? What is nature in general over and above will, since it is by no means held 
to be merely the flesh ? 


and righteousness of God, the notion of sin (as that which can 
be avoided), and the notion of redemption ; a " natural " guilt 
could never be got rid of.^ 

6. Pelagius deduced the actual existence of sin from the 
snares of the devil and sensuous lusts (gula and libido), and con- 
demned concupiscence accordingly. It was necessary to over- 
come it by virginity and continence. It sprang not from the 
substance of the flesh (de substantia carnis), but from its works 
(ex operibus carnis), otherwise God would be its author. 
Pelagius took a serious view of this whole matter ; but he was 
certain, on the other hand, that the body was subject to the 
soul, and that thus the relationship willed by God could be 
restored.* But Julian felt that this was a vexed point. Whence 
came the evil desires of the flesh (desideria carnis mala) if the 
substance was good, and if it was yet manifest that they fre- 
quently did not spring from the will ? The case of marriage, 
which is unthinkable without sexual desire, showed Julian that 
libido was permitted by God, and he attacked inexorably the 
artificial distinctions which Augustine sought and was com- 
pelled to make between nuptia and concupiscentia} Julian 
taught that concupiscence was in itself indifferent and innocent; 
for the actual creation was of all conceivable kinds the best ; 
but this creation embraced sexual and all other desires.* Libido 
was guilty non in genere suo^ non in specie^ non in tnodo^ but only 
in excessu; genus and species were from God, the modus de- 
pended on an honest decision (arbitrium honestatis), excess 

1 To this point the Pelagians applied their greatest acuteness, and made just objec- 
tions, see under. Pelag. in Aug. de pecc. orig. 14 : ** Omne bonum ac malum, quo 
vel laudabiles vel vituperabiles sumus, non nobiscum oritur, sed agitur a nobis : 
capaces enim utriusque rei, non pUni nascimur, et ut sine virtute ita et sine vitio 
procreamur atque ante actionem propriae voluntatis id solum in homine est, quod 
deus condidit." 

' See the Ep. ad Demetr. ; De nat. et grat. 60-71. A grave experience is re- 
vealed in the confession (Ep. ad Demetr. 26) that the devil may often fill even those 
who are separated from the world with such foul and impious thoughts, that they 
imagine they are as wicked as when they loved the res saculi, 

3 With his distinction of marriage as good and bad, Augustine resembles the charla- 
tan who would exhibit a beast that devours itself; Jul. III. 47. 

^ See e<tpecia11y Op. imp. Book V., and c. Julian, Book V. Augustine calls him 
** laudator concupiscentia ; " c Jul. III. 44. 


followed from a fault of will (vitium voluntatis).^ If it were 
otherwise, then baptism would necessarily eradicate, and not 
merely regulate, concupiscence.* Accordingly the latter, within 
limits (intra modum), was good ; ' he who used it moderately, 
used a blessing rightly ; he who indulged in it immoderately, 
/ used a blessing badly; but he who from love to virginity 
despised even moderate indulgence, did not thereby use a good 
thing better} The shame alluded to by Augustine, which is 
felt even at the lawful enjoyment of desire, was explained by 
Julian, following the Cynics, as mere convention and custom.^ 
Christ himself possessed concupiscence.® 

7. It follows from this teaching that there can always have 
been sinless men : ^ Pelagius, indeed, argued further that since 
every man could resist sin (easily), he who sinned passed into 
hell at the Judgment;® for every sin was really mortal, the 
sinner having acted against his ability to do better. Julian^ 
moreover, taught that every excess was a mortal sin, since it 
was done absolutely without compulsion.® In the end, it is 
said, God punishes the wicked and rewards the virtuous. But 
it remains wholly obscure how there can exist virtue (righteous- 
ness) and sin at all if, in practising them, a character can never 
be gained, if we are only concerned with fragmentary actions 
from which no deposit is left or sum-total formed. 

In the foregoing the fundamental conceptions of the Pelagians 
are described. But they were also, of course. Catholic Christians ; 

I c. Jul. IV. 7 ; III. 27. 

a L.C. IV. 8. 
s L.C. IV. 52. 

^ Asceticism is thus declared to be superfluous, I.e. III. 42. 

» Op* imp, IV. 37-43. There undoubtedly occur other passages in Julian in which 
the " blessing " of libido appears small, and virginity is admired. 

• L.C. IV. 45-64, and elsewhere. 

7 We must here, indeed, remember the twofold meaning o{ posse, 

• De gest. Pelag. 11. 

• On this Pelagius laid great stress (see Op. imp. V.), expressly denying (against 
Augustine) that man sins because he was created ex nikilo. By referring evil to the 
will, every possibility of explaining its origin comes to an end ; for any such explana- 
tion means proving its necessity. V. 41 : " Quseritis necessitatem rei quae esse non 
potest si patitur necessitatem. Huic motui animi libero, sine coactu originis inquieto, 
si causa ipso motu delur antiquior, non gignitur omnino sed toUitur. '' V. 57-60 : *' ideo 
habuit voluntatem malam, quia voluit." 


they were accordingly compelled to harmonise these doctrines 
of theirs with Holy Scripture and its historical contents, with 
Christ and the teaching of the Church. How they did so we 
have still briefly to discuss in what follows. It is apparent that 
the difficulties in showing this agreement were extraordinarily 
great, and, indeed, not only for them, but for everyone who 
would harmonise a coherent rational doctrine with Gen. I.-HI., 
and with hundreds of passages in Scripture. 

8. Adam was created with free will — according to Pelagius — 
also with ** what is called natural holiness " (naturalis quae dicitur 
sanctitas), which consisted just in free will and reason. Julian 
considered this state to be morally very high and intellectually 
low.^ All are, however, agreed that Adam's endowments were 
the peculiar and inalienable gift of divine grace (gratia). 

9. Adam sinned through free will (Julian esteemed this sin of 
slight account) ; * but by this sin his nature was not corrupted. 
Nor was natural death a consequence of it, for it is natural ; but 
spiritual death, the condemnation of the soul on account of sin, 
was the result of sin.* 

10. Natural death was accordingly not inherited from Adam ; 
moreover, spiritual death was only in so far as his descendants / 
likewise sinned. If all men died through Adam's death, then all 
would necessarily rise again through the resurrection of Christ* 

11. Still much less was Adam's sin or guilt transmitted. The 
doctrine of transmitted and original sin(tradux peccati and pecca- vx 
tum originis) is Manichaean and blasphemous; it is equally absurd 
whether viewed in relation to God, or man, or the notion of sin, or 

^ Op. imp. VI. 14-23. 

' Op. Imp. VI. 23 ; VI. 14, he lets it appear plainly enough that the Fall was an 
advantage for Adam : " porro ignorantia quam profunda quamque patiendi ejus dura 
conditio, ut liberari ab ea nisi pnevaricatione non posset, scienliam quippe boni 
malique absque ansa condemnabili nequaquam capessiturus.'* 

* Thus first Cselestius (Karthago, s. Diospolis ; de pecc. mer. 2). So also Julian, 
op. imp. II. 66. Common death is natural. Yet here Julian has tried to compromise. 
He will not deny that natural death has a connection with sin ; i.^., it had really to 
be annulled by merits ; but his explanations in Book II. are very tortuous. Without 
sin death would have been ** levissima " ; but God cannot do away with it entirely 
even for saints, for (VI. 30) : " non est tanti unius meritum, ut universa quae natural- 
iter sunt instituta perturbeL" 

* Thus already Cselestius. 


Christ, or Holy Scripture. In relation to God, for his righteous- 
ness is annulled by imputing the sins of others, and regarding 
as sinful a nature that has not yet sinned, just as much as 
it would be by ushering into the world, laden with sin, human 
beings bom after Adam's fall. In relation to man, for a 
vitiated nature is then equivalent to a bad nature ; if a nature 
possesses evil, it is bad ; but in that case the guilt falls upon 
God, for he is responsible for our nature; further, sin could 
only propagate itself, if we assumed a procreation of souls; but 
this assumption is absurd ; finally, if sin is propagated through 
marriage, so that desire in marriage is and transmits sin, mar- 
riage is thereby condemned. In relation to the notion of sin, 
for sin is absolutely embraced by the will, so that it does not 
exist at all, where there is no free-will ; further, even if it could 
propagate itself, it could not be transmitted by baptised parents ; 
lastly, Augustine's contention that sin is itself used by God as a 
punishment of sin, that there is a divine law of sin, etc., is absurd 
and immoral. In relation to Christ, for were nature bad, it 
could not be redeemed, or, were there an inherited sin which 
became natural to man, Christ also must have possessed it. 
In relation to Holy Scripture, as countless passages show 
that sin is a matter of the will, and that God punishes each for 
his own sins alone. Rom. V. 12, merely asserts that all die 
because they themselves sin like Adam, or something similar ; 
in any case it contains nothing to support inherited sin.^ 

12. Thus all men created by God are in the position in which 
Adam was before the fall.* An unessential difference exists 
only in so far as Adam possessed at once the use of reason, 
while children do not ; that Adam was still untaught, while 
children are bom into a society in which the custom of evil 
prevails, Pelagius at least teaches this.* The mere capa- 

1 It is superfluous to quote passages ; see the detailed account in Klasen, pp. 1 16- 
182. Julian's explanation of Rom. V. 12 occurs in c. Jul. VI. 75-81. Besides 
charging him with Manicheeism, Julian also accused Augustine of Traducianism, 
though he was no Tradudan. The heretical name of '* Tiadudani *' was originated 
by Julian (Op. imp. I. 6). 

' De pecc orig. 14. 

' £p. ad Demetr. The reign of sin in the world is also elsewhere strongly empha- 
sised by Pelagius. 


city of either (mera capacitas utriusque) is the original 

13. The habit of sinning, working by example, according to 
Pelagius, weakens the will(?). Yet nothing can be said as to^ 
how it really works ; for otherwise the indifference of the will * 

is destroyed. Probably the meaning was that the possibility 
of good remained wholly intact, but the habit of sinning 
darkened reason.* 

14. It is when we come to discuss grace that it is hardest to 
reproduce the view of the Pelagians ; for it was here that they 
found it most necessary to accommodate their opinions. Very 
strong assertions occur in Pelagius and Julian — Caelestius was 
more reserved * — as to the necessity of divine grace (adjutorium) 
for every good work.^ We also find statements to the effect 

1 This talk of primitive innocence is already in Julian a case of accommodation ; 
for innocence of course always remains really the same. C. Jul. III. 36 : ** homo 
igitur innocentia quidem plenus, sed viitutis capax nascitur, aut laudem aut repre- 
hensionem ex proposito accedente meiiturus . . . nee justos nasci parvulos nee 
injustos, quod futuri sunt actibus suis, sed tantummodo in&ntiam ixmocentiae dote 
locupletem." But the same chapter shows what is after all meant by this "inno- 
cence " : Perfecta ignorantia (in scripturis justitia nominatur). 

' Op. imp. I. 91 : *' liberum arbitrium et post peccata tarn plenum est quam fuit 
ante peccata." 

' Here, as in Stoicism, there is a gap in the system. Why is rational man 
inational and bad ? How can he possess ratt'o and an evil will at the same time ? 
And how is the sinful habit explained? — ^Julian also says, besides (Op. imp. I. 16) 
" consuetudo peccati amorem delicti facit et exstinguit pudorem ; " but he means in 
the teaching of Augustine. 

* " The will is not free, if it needs God's help" (De gestis 42). " Si per gratiam 
(De gestis 30) omnia Jacimus, quando vincimur a peccato, non nos vincimur, sed dei 
gratia, qusB voluit nos adjuvare omni modo et non potuit." 

' We can, indeed, exemplify almost all the principles of Augustinianism from the 
utterances of Pelagius and Julian. The number of passages in their works which 
sound like good Church doctrine is very great. We should require to quote these 
also in order to give an idea of the figure presented by the two men to the world ; but 
this would carry us beyond our present limits. We do not, however, do injustice to 
their thought by omitting them; for they are only characteristic of their mode ot 
expression. Pelagius never denied publicly that man always needed the divine grace, 
that he could only adjuvante gratia esse sine peccato (see De gestis 16, 22, 31 ; De 
gratia 2 : "anathemo qui vel sentit vel dicit, gratiam dei, qua Christus venit in hunc 
mundum peocatores salvos £ftcere, non solum per singulas horas aut per singula 
momenta, sed etiam per singulos actus nostros non esse necessariam, et qui banc 
conantur anferre, pcenas sortiantur aetemas " ; see also his Confession to the Pope). 
Julian used, if possible, still stronger expressions ; but both very oflen said exactly 


that grace facilitated goodness.* Finally, others occur which 
teach that grace is superfluous, nay, strictly speaking, in itself 
impossible.^ It is no injustice to the Pelagians to take the two 
latter positions, which, to a certain extent can be combined, as 
giving their true opinion ; for it was assuredly the chief inten- 
tion of Pelagius to deprive Christians of their indolent reliance 
on grace, and Julian's main object was to show that the human 
constitution bore merit and salvation in its own lap. The 
proposition "homo libero arbitrio emancipatus a deo" really 
contains the protest against any grace.* 
\, 15- l^y grace we have throughout to understand in the 
first place the grace of creation;* it is so glorious that 

the opposite of what is here given. Hut they never did say that the grace of God 
through Christ established freedom from sin and salvation. 

1 These are the usual ones : free will exists in all men, but it is only supported by 
grace in the case of Christians (De gratia, 34) ; the rest only possess the " nudum et 
inerme conditionis bonum." Similaily Julian, but still more strongly (Op. imp. I. 
40): **quos lecit quia voluit nee condemnat nisi spret'is ; si cum non spemitur, 
faciat consecratione meliores, nee detrimentum justitie patitur et munificentia 
roiseiationis omatur." I. iii : "malse voluntati veniam pro insestimabili liberalitate 
largitur et innocentiam, quam creat bonam, fsicit innovando adoptandoque meliorem " 
(but can anything be better than good?). III. 106 : "Quod ais, ad colendum recte 
deum sine ipsius adjutorio dici a nobis sufficere unicuique libertatero arbitrii, omnino 
mentiris. Cum igitur cultus dei multis intelligatur modis, et in custodia mandatorum 
et in execiatione vitiorum et in simplicitate conversationis et in ordine mysteriorum et 
in profunditate dogmatum . . . qui fieri potest, ut nos in confuso dicamus, sine 
adjutorio dei liberum arbitrium sufficiens ad ejus esse culturam . . . cum utique ista 
omnia, tarn quae dogmatibus quam quse mysteriis continentur, libertas arbitrii per se 
non potuerit invenire, etc." There we see clearly how we are to understand the 
" adjutorium " ; it consists solely in the law of dogmas and mysteries given by God and 
not discovered by man, but not in a power. Therefore, because God had invented so 
many institutions, Julian can proceed : ** hominem innumeris divinae gratis speciebus 
juvari . . . prsecipiendo, benedicendo, sanctificando, coercendo, provocando, iUumin- 

^ Impossible as a power, since the will cannot actually be determined. On this 
point Oelestius has alone expressed himself clearly, but Julian holds the same view, 
as he i^ never tired saying: "cunctarum origo virtutum in rationabili animo sita 

» This proposition of Julian's is properly the key to the whole mode of thought : 
man created free is with his whole sphere independent of God. He has no longer to 
do with God, but with himself alone. God only re-enters at the end (at the judg- 

* The statements of the Pelagians as to grace are very often rendered intentionaUy 
(e,g., Degestis Pel. 22) ambiguous, by their understanding it to mean the grace of 



there have been perfect men even among heathens and 

i6. In the seeond place, it denotes the law (lex) of God ; 
indeed, all grace, in so far as it is not nature, can at bottom 
have no other character than that of illumination and instruc- ^ 
tion (doctrina). This facilitates the doing of the good.* 

17. Thirdly, grace means the grace of God through Christ 
This also is at bottom iiluminatio et doctrina ; ^ Christ works 
by his example.* Pelagius and Julian admit that the habit of 
sinning was so great that Christ's appearance was necessary.^ 
Julian's conception of this appearance was that Christ owed 
what he became to his free will.* But it was necessary, over 
and above instruction (doctrina), to assume, in conformity with 
Church teaching and practice, an effective action through Christ 

creation, and accordingly nature. Yet this is not the rule. Pelagius and Julian 
distinguish three states : ex natura, sub lege, sub gratia (Chiisti) ; see C. duas epp, I. 

39- , 

1 " Perfecta justitia " also in the old covenant (I.e.) and among '* antiqui homines." 

Julian often cites the perfect heathens, and sneers at Augustine's '*splendida vitia.' 
If the virtues of the heathens are not virtues, their eyes are not eyes (c. Jul. IV. 26- 
30). Pelagius has made wholly contradictory statements on this point ; Julian 
afterwards became more prudent ; but, finally, he always held the opinion that there 
was no diflerence between a good Christian and a good heathen. 

' The law was the first augmentum beneficiorum dei; but it was at the same time 
the fundamental form of all that God could further do after cieation. Pelagius has 
expressed himself very plainly (De gestis 30) : ''giatiam dei et adjutorium non ad 
singulos actus dari (in other places he says the opposite) sed in libero arbitrio esse vel 
in lege ac doctrina,*^ That accordingly is all. Augustine therefore says very rightly 
that Pelagius only admitted the grace "qua demonstrat et revelat deus quid agere 
debeamus, non qua donat atque adjuvat ut agamus." 

' See preceding note and Cselestius' statement : *Mex sic mittit ad regnuro 
coelorum quomodo et evangelium." 

' Example and imitation, see Op. imp. II. 146 sq. C. Jul. V. 58: "tolle 
exempli causam, toUe et pretii, quod pro nobis factus est.'' Julian also ultimately 
reduced the death of Christ to a type, Op. imp. II. 223. 

' Op. imp. II. 217-222. 

' It is very instructive that to Julian (as to Augustine) it is the man that forms the 
peisonality in Jesus. He is distinguished from Augustine by saying that the man 
Jesus was chosen by God and united with Christ secundum merita. 'Hie profectus is 
also more plainly marked : Jesus was gradually adopted by the Word of God ; the 
filius hotninis gradually became the filius dei through the achievement of his will. 
Accordingly, unless Augustine has greatly exaggerated, this still might be taught with 
impunity at that time in the West (see Op. imp. IV. 84). 


on the part of God. The Pelagians did not deny that this was 
represented in baptism and the remissions granted by God ; 
they taught the forgiveness of sins through baptism. But they 
could not show wherein this forgiveness consisted without 
coming into conflict with freedom. As regards infant baptism, 
they dared no longer dispute its necessity; indeed, they daied 
no longer flatly declare that it was not given for the remission 
of sins. They derived a certain consecration and sanctification 
from it, but they disputed the doctrine that children dying 
unbaptised were lost ; these would only fail to enter the king- 
dom of heaven, the highest grade of felicity.* 

1 8. Finally, the Pelagians taught that this grace through 
Christ was compatible with the righteousness (justitia) of God, 
because the latter did not preclude an increase of benefits,* but 
that grace was given secundum merita (according to the merits 
of the rational spirit) because in any other case God would have 
been unjust* The contention, however, that it was absolutely 
necessary was never seriously advocated by them, and was fre- 
quently denied, and in the thesis that the operation of the 
gospel is not different from that of the law, the former is in 
point of fact completely reduced to the level of the latter. But 
the law is itself nothing but a crutch not necessary to everyone. 
Man is to be sinless : this state we can attain by our will ; but 
sinlessness (impeccantia) is rendered easy to the Christian ; for 
by looking to Christ he can easily turn, and in baptism, the 

1 The evasions in the case of baptism are so numerous that it is not worth while 
mentioning separate instances. The notion of forgiveness was in itself very irksome 
to the Pelagians ; it could be at most a kind of indulgence, with difficulty compatible 
with justice. They also touched on the question whether baptism extirpates sin or 
removes guilt ; but for them the question was senseless. As regards infant baptism, 
all their statements are to be derived from the fact that they would neither abolish it, 
nor admit baptisms of different value. The distinction between regnum calarum and 
vita atema was an eschatological rudiment^ in this case welcome. 

* Op. imp. I. 72, III. 163 : " augmenta beneficiorum divinorum utilia esse et neces- 
saria omnibus in commune setatibus dicimus, ita tamen ut nee virtus nee peccatum 
sine propria cuiquam voluntate tribuatur." 

3 De gestis 30 : '* De gratiam secundum merita nostra dari, quia si peccatoribus 
illam det, videtur esse iniquus." This destroys the notion of grace ; for it is only as 
gratuitous that it is grace. Here it takes the form of a means of rewarding the good. 
But if grace is neither grcUis nor a power, it is nothing but an empty word. 


mysteries, dogmas, and the commandments, he from the first 
possesses nothing but means to promote virtue. All that Christ 
did and the Church does is considered not as action but as 

The Pelagians deserve respect for their purity of motive, their 
horror of the Manichxan leaven and the opus operatum^ their 
insistence on clearness, and their intention to defend the Deity.^ 
But we cannot but decide that their doctrine fails to recognise 
the misery of sin and evil, that in its deepest roots it is godless, 
that it knows, and seeks to know, nothing of redemption, and 
that it is dominated by an empty formalism (a notional myth- 
ology) which does justice at no single point to actual quantities, 
and on a closer examination consists of sheer contradictions. 
In the/<7r;« in which this doctrine was expressed by Pelagius — 
and in part also by Julian — />., with all the accommodations to 
which he condescended, it was not a novelty.* But in its funda- 
mental thought it was ; or, rather, it was an innovation because 
it abandoned^ in spite of all accommodations in expression^ the pole of 
the mystical doctrine of redemption^ which the Church had stead- 
fastly maintained side by side with the doctrine of freedom? 

III. The fundamental notion of Pelagianism is nature em- 
bracing free will (liberum arbitrium);^thG fundamental notion 
of Au gustinianism is grace, a nd in the Pelagian controversy the 
gfare^f God through Christ * In Pelagianism the doctrine of 
grace amounts to an " appendix " badly connected with the 
main subject ; in Augustinianism the doctrine of nature is beset 

1 That Augustinianism is identical with Manichaeism runs through Julian's polemic 
like a red line. ** Sub laude baptismatis eructat Augustinus Manichfeorum sordes ac 
naturale peccatum, ut ecclesiae catholics pura hactenus sacramenta contaminet " (Op. 
imp. I. 9). 

3 His condemnation was, therefore— from a legal standpoint — not above question ; 
the rejection of his eneigetic appeal to freedom in Church instruction not in every 
respect salutary. 

' But from this point of view it could not be thoroughly opposed. Augustinianism 
could alone overcome it. Augustine's criticism of this system will be best given 
through an exposition of his own. 

^ Therefore the Pelagians attacked Augustine's doctrine of nature, and he their 
doctrine of grace. Everything that Augustine has to say to the Pelagians springs 
properly from the proof that they were ignorant of the nature of grace, and therefore 
also of that of sin. 


with contradictions, because it is impossible to give a rational 
account of nature and history from the standpoint of the grace of 
experience. For it is absolutely impossible to develop as a 
rational doctrine the conviction of the transforming grace of 
God who is also the creator ; it must begin and end with the 
confession : " How incomprehensible are God's judgments and 
ho\v inscrutable his ways!" Augustine, sneered at as **Aris- 
toteles Poenorum " as " philosophaster Poenorum " (Op. imperf. 
III. 198, V. 11), knew this also. But living in an age when it 
was held to be culpable ignorance and unbelief not to answer 
all possible questions, and penetrated by the vulgar conviction 
that Holy Scripture solved all problems, he, too, made the high- 
est facts and the feelings of the inner life which he had gained 
in the gospel the starting-point of a description of " primitive 
history " and the history of mankind that could not but end in 
contradictions. At the same time, the pathological experiences 
of the course of his life are mirrored in this description. The 
stream of living water still bears in its depths traces of the 
gloomy banks past which it once had flowed, and into which it 
had almost sunk.^ 

I. Mankind is, as experience shows, a " mass of sin " 
[massa peccati (perditionis)], waited on by death, and incapable 
of raising itself to the good ; for having revolted from God, it 
could no more return to him than an empty vessel could refill 
Itself. But in Christ the Redeemer — and in him alone — ^the 
grace of God manifested itself and entered on the work of man's 
deliverance. Christ by his death removed the gulf between God 
and mankind — breaking the rule of the devil — so that the grace 
of God, which for that reason is gratia per (propter) Christum^ 
could pursue its work.* This free grace {gratia gratis 

^ Since Augustine*s fundamental theological conceptions have been already dis- 
cussed above (see p. 94 ff.), we have here only to examine the doctrine of grace, and 
that of sin and the primitive state. This order is self-evident, while Pelagianism 
started at the doctrine of an indestructible nature. 

^ Expositions of the death of Christ as the ground of salvation are frequent in 
Augustine. But they refer mostly to the reign of the devil, which was legally abro- 
gated by Christ's death ; on the other hand, they are much rarer when Augustine 
speaks of positive redemption. This deliverance from the devil's power was the 
common conception of Christ's death ; it was the pretium paid for us to the devil. 


data) ^ working in the Church, is beginning, middle, and end. Its 
aim is the rescue from the massa perditionis^ that as guilty falls 
justly a prey to eternal death, of a fixed number of elect (certus 
numerus electorum), who enter eternal life. They are saved 
because God, in virtue of his eternal decree of salvation, has pre- 
destinated, chosen, called, justified, sanctified, and preserved 
them.* This is done through grace, which thus is {X) pre- 

which he could not, however, retain. But it plays a subordinate part in Augustine*s 
"vhole system ; even the thought that God must be propitiated, of which we have 
echoes in Augustine, is not strictly carried out The grace of God to him means, as 
a rule, the annulling of the state of sin. It is involved, however, in the nature of the 
case, that the reference is uncertain ; for it is hard to demonstrate how a *' state " is 
changed effectively by the death of Christ. But the looseness of connection was also 
a result of Augustine's conception of God ; for grace, at bottom, emanated from the 
inscrutable decree of God, or the bonum esse, Augustine rarely connects^a/<Vj infusa 
in his thought with Christ, but with caritas^ which is the essence of the Good. Heie 
we have once more to remember that Christ himself, as a historical manifestation, 
was an instance in Augustine's view of predestinating grace (see above, p. 129). 
''Therefore the activity of Christ, who, as living eternally, works directly in us, is 
loosely connected with the historical process of propitiation " (Domer, p. 182). That 
is, this " ever living Christ "is himself nothing but grace. In Enchir. 108, Augustine 
has summed up all he had to say on the import of Christ's work ; but it will be 
found that, although the reconcUiatio cum deo—oiAy^ indeed, as restoration to God — 
is not wanting, what is called "objective redemption" is left pretty much in the 
background. Augustine accordingly conceived the import of Christ spiritually; 
" Neque per ipsum liberaremur unum mediatorem dei et hominum hominem Jesum 
Christum, nisi esset et deus. Sed cum factus est Adam homo, scil. rectus, mediatore 
non opus erat Cum vero genus humanum peccata lonf^ separaverunt a decy per 
mediatorem, qui solus sine peccato natus est, vixit, occisus est, reconciliari nos oporte- 
bat deo usque ad camis resurrectionem in vitam aetemam, ut humatta superbiaper 
kumilitatem dei argueretur {xhsX b the main thought, see above, p. 131 f. ) ^^ sanarettir 
et demonstraretur homini quam longe a deo recesserai (to-day this conception of 
Christ's work would be called rationalistic), cum per incamatum deum revocaretur et 
exemplum obedientite per hominem-deum (this expression, *'homo-deus" was not 
used, so far as I know, before Augustine) contumaci homini praberetur^ et unigenito 
suscipiente formam servi, quae nihil ante meruerat, fons gratis panderetur et carnis 
etiam resurrectio redemptis promissa in ipso redemptore pranumstraretur^ et per 
eandem naturam quam se decepisse lietabatur, diabolus vinceretur, nee tamen homo 
gloriaretur, ne iterum superbia muceretur, etc." 

1 Enchir. X07 : *' Gratia vero nisi' gratis est, gratia non est." 

' See the wiitings De corrept. et gratia, De dono perseverantiie, De prsedest. 
sanctorum, as well as expositions in all the works of Augustine's last years ; for they 
never fail to prove that he more and more recognised the doctrine of predestinating 
grace to be the main one. Predestination does not rest on the foreknowledge that 
those particular men would follow grace, but it effects this result. The scriptural 
proof is Rom. IX. (see De pnedest. 34). 


venient ;'^ for it must first create the good will (faith).* (This 
prevenient grace can be combined with "the call" (vocatio);* 
but we must even here remember that the call comes to some 
who are not " called according to the purpose."* In the strict 
sense the whole transactions of grace apply only to those who 
are predestinated ; * in the wider sense, grace operates as far as 
sanctification in a much greater circle, who, however, finally perish, 
because they have not received its last work.)® Augustine has 
inserted his whole religious experience in the confession of free 
V and prevenient grace. He nowhere speaks with greater convic- 
tion, more simply and grandly, than where he praises the grace 
that snatches man from his sinful condition. But grace (2) 
works co-operatively? This work evolves itself in a series of 
Vstages, since naturally it is only possible slowly and gradually 
to reach the goal whose attainment is desired, viz,^ the persever- 
ance and complete and actual regeneration of man ® — re-creation 

1 Enchir. 32 : *' Nolentem praevenit ut velit, volentem subsequitur, ne fnistra 
velit." De gratia et lib. arb. 33 : ** praeparat voluntatem et cooperando perficit, quod 
operando inficit. Quoniam ipse ut velimus operatur incipiens." There are countless 
other passages. 

* De spir et litt. 34 : '* Non credere potest quodlibet libero arbitrio, si nulla sit 
suasio vel vocatio cui credat ; profecto et ipsum velle credere deus operatur in homine 
et in omnibus miseiicordia ejus pnevenit nos : consentire autem vocationi dei vel ab 
ea dissentire propriie voluntatis est.'' Augustine's favourite text was, *' Quid habes, 
quod non accepisti." 

' See preceding note. 

^ See Augustine's last writings, e.g^^ De corr. 39 ; De pned. 32. The means of 
grace are uncertain ; the universal vocatio should be successful, but it is not. 

^ Here it is true that *'deus ita suadet ut persuadeat." De proedest, 34 : ** Electi 
sunt ante mundi constitutionem ea prsedestinatione, in qua deus sua futura &cta pree- 
scivit ; electi sunt autem de mundo ea vocatione, qua deus id, quod prsedestinavit, 
implevit. Quos enim praedestinavit, ipsos et vocavit, ilia scilicet vocatione secundum 
propositum, non ergo alios sed quos pradestincevit ipsos et vocavit^ nee alios, sed quos 
prssdestinavit, vocavit justiiicavit, ipsos et glorificavit, illo utique fine, qui non babet 

^ Therefore it was possible for Augustine to conceive the means of grace as acting 
in the case of heietics, because he felt their efficacy in general to be in the end un- 

7 See above, note I. The commonest term b ''adjutorium," which the Pelagians 
also used, but with a quite different meaning. They thought of a crutch, Augustine 
of a necessary power. 

B That is, this regeneration, surpassing forgiveness of sin and faith, is always con- 
sidered the goal. That is the moral phase of the religious movement. Renovation 


into good men — accordingly his being rendered capable of doing 
good works of piety and possessing merit The calling (vocatio) 
first results in faith as God's gift. This faith is itself subject to 
growth, 1.^., it begins as unquestioning acceptance based on the 
authority of the Church and Scripture ; it presents itself further 
as obedience, then trust (fiducia) believing God, belief about 
God, belief on God (credere deum, credere de deo, credere in 
deum) and as such passes into love.^ Parallel with this goes 
the effective (visible) action of grace in the Church,* which 
begins with the remission of sins.' This is administered in bap- 
tism, and since the latter removes the guilt of original sin,^ and 
blots out sins previously committed, it is the " bath of regenera- 
tion.'' But it is so only as an initiatory act ; for the actual 
justification, which corresponds to co-operating grace, is not yet 
gained, where sin is no longer imputed, but only where the irre- 
ligious man has ^^^^^ just, where accordingly an actual renova- 
tion has taken place. This is effected through the infusion of 
love into the heart by the Holy Spirit, and this love substitutes 

justificatio=sanctificatio=sanctitas. Thus even regeneration is only perfect at the 
close. Enchir. 31 : *' We become free when God fashions us into good men." 

^ On faith as an advancing process of faith see Domer, pp. 183-195. Originally, 
faith is contrasted with knowledge ; it is the acceptance on authority of things we 
cannot know, nay, of what is contrary to reason ; but it grows into asseptsuSj fiducia^ 
and spiritual perception, and thus passes into love, or, according to Paul and James, 
into the faith that works in love. 

* Yet, as follows from the above exposition, the whole process of grace is com- 
pletely subjective, although the parallel of the rites of the Church is maintained. 

' Augustine was the first to make baptism a real act of initiation (Ench. 64 : '*a 
baptismate incipit renovatio "). The forgiveness of sins has an independent value 
only for the baptised child if it dies ; otherwise it is an initiation. Here, and for this 
reason, we have Luther's divergence in the notion of faith. De grat. et lib. arb. 27 *. 
*' neque scientia divinie legis, neque natura neque sola remissio peccatorum est ilia 
gratia per Christum, sed ipsa facit, ut lex impleatur." 

^ For Augustine's system it is a grave defect, sufficiently animadverted on also by 
the Pelagians, that baptism only removes the guilt of inherited sin ; for with him 
removal of guilt Is really a slight matter, in any case not the chief concern. But in 
the formulas the *' non imputare," as well 2&fideSf undoubtedly appears as the chief 
thing. In reality, while the removal of guilt b the object oi fides historica, sin is 
blotted Qvx\t^ gratia infusa. Where Augustine seeks to retain guilt as the supreme 
conception, he always turns to its punishment. Man is emptied by sin. Thus sin 
bears its punishment in itself. Man despoiled, however, is much too dependent, too 
much of a cipher, to be able to possess guilt. 


good for evil desire (concupiscence). That is, the man now not 
only makes the joyful confession : " To me to cleave to God is 
a good thing," and delights in God as the sutnmum bonum, 
instead of in perishable possessions (the humility of faith, love 
and hope in place of pride of heart), but gains also the power to 
do good works. This new frame of mind and capacity, which 
grace begets through the gift of the Holy Spirit, is the experi- 
ence of justification by faith (justificatio ex fide).^ 

Justification is an act that takes place once for all, and is 
completed sub specie cetemitatis^ and with reference to the fact 
that everything can be comprised in faith. As an empirical 
'experience, however, it is a process never completed in this 
world, because the being replenished with faith, which through 
love labours to effect the complete transformation of man, is 
itself subject to limitation in our present life.* This operation 

1 The lormv^K justificatio ex fide is very frequent in Augustine. De spiritu et litt. 
45 : " cum dicat gratis justiflcari hominem per fidem sine operibus legis, nihil aliud 
volens intelligi in eo, quod dicit gratis^ nisi quia justificationem opera non praece- 
dunt. . . Quid est aliud justificati quam justi facti ab illo scilicet qui justificat impium 
ut ex impio fiat Justus.'' 15 : *'non quod sine voluntate nostra justificatio fiat, sed 
voluntas nostra oslenditur infirma per legem, ut sanet gratia voluntatem et sanata 
voluntas impleat legem." C. Jul. II. 23 : "justificatio in hac vita nobis secundum tria 
ista confertur : prius lavacro regenerationis, quo remittuntur cuncta peccata, deinde 
congressione cum vitiis, a quorum reatu absoluti sumus, tertio dum nostra exaudiatur 
oratio, qua dicimus, Dimitte nobis debita nostra." The whole process up to the 
meritis and vita atema in De gratia et lib. arb. 20. Love alone decides salvation, 
because it alone replenishes the man despoiled by sin. Man receives his final salva- 
tion by being restored through the spirit of love to goodness, being, and God, and by 
being united with him mystically yet really. The depreciation of fiiith follows neces- 
sarily from the notions of God, the creature and sin, all three of which have the mark 
of the acosmic. Since there is no independence beside God, the act of faith on the 
part of a subject in the presence of God only obtains any value when it is transformed 
into union with God — the ** being filled " by God. This union, however, is a pro- 
duct of the freed will and gratia {cooperans), 

* This is argued very often by Augustine. The bo$t 1 concupiscentia can, as experi- 
ence shows, never wholly supplant on earth the mala, (De spiritu 6: ''adjuvat 
spiritus sanctus inspirans pro concupiscentia mala concupiscentiam bonam, hoc est 
caritatem diflfundens in cordibus nostris.") For this very reason diffusio cariiatis 
(gratia infusa, inspiratio dilectio — Augustine has many synonyms for this power of 
justification) is never perfected. Thus justification, which is identical with sanctifica- 
tion, is never completed because *' opera " also are essential to it. Augustine appealed 
expressly to James. Gratia^ however, is never imparted secundum merita bonte 
voluntatis^ let alone bonorutn operum ; it first calls them forth. 


of the spirit of love has its parallel in the effective (visible) 
dealings of grace in the Church, and that in the Lord's Supper 
(the incorporation into the love and unity of Christ's body) as 
well as in the Eucharistic sacrifice, penance, and Church works, 
so far as these are capable of blotting out sin.^ These works, 
however, possess stl.l another value. Renunciation of worldly 
pleasure is only completed in asceticism, and since at the 
Judgment God will deal with us in accordance with our works, 
the completion of justification can only consist in the sancti- 
fication, in virtue of which particular possessions — marriage, 
property, etc. — are wholly abandoned. It is not, indeed, 
absolutely necessary for everyone to fulfil the counsels of the 
gospel (consilia evangelica) ; we can live in faith, hope, and love 
without them. God's grace does not make everyone a saint,* 
to be worshipped, and to be implored to intercede for us. But 
everybody who is to be crowned must ultimately possess merits 
in some degree; for, at the Judgment, merits will alone be 
crowned, these ever being, indeed, like all good, God's gifts.* 
But the perseverance of the elect in love through the whole 
course of their life until the Judgment is (3) the highest and last 
gift of grace, which now appears as irresistible. Perseverance 
to the end is the good, without which all that went before is 
nothing. Therefore, in a sense, it alone is grace ; for only those 
are finally saved who have obtained this irresistible grace. 
The called who do not possess it are lost. But why only a few 

1 See above, p. 155. We have to notice here also the juxtaposition of the two pro- 
cesses, the outer and inner. For the rest, the whole account of the process of salvation 
is not yet reduced to a strict plan. Augustine still confuses the stages, and, fortu- 
nately, has no fixed terminology. Scholasticism first changed all this. 

' No one can wholly avoid sin ; but the saints can refirain from crimes (Enchir. 64). 

' The work ** De fide et operibus'' is especially important at this point. Augustine 
expressly denies, c. 40, that &ith and knowledge of God suffice for final blessedness. 
He holds by the saying : ** Hereby we know him, if we keep his commandments." 
Against reformers like Jovinian, and not only against them, he defended the consilia^ 
monachism, the higher morality, and the saints. De gratia et lib. arb. i : '* per 
gratiam dei bona merita comparamus quibus ad vitam perveniamus setemam." By 
these meriia, works thoroughly ascetic are to be understood ; see also the writings, De 
sancta vii^n., and De bono viduit., in which, for the rest, Augustine is still more 
fiivourable to marriage than at a later date. His writings are at all times marked by 
a lofty appreciation of almsgiving. 




» • .... 

obtain this gift, though it is bestowed secundum nurita^ is God's 
secret.^ Eternal life and eternal damnation are decreed by one 
and the same justice.* 

2. The doctrine of sin, the Fall, and the primitive state is 
sketched from the standpoint of free and prevenient grace. It 
follows from the doctrine of grace that sin characterises man- 
kind as they now exist. Sin presents itself essentially as 
being without God (carentia dei), the voluntary diminution of 
7 strength of being.* The failure to possess God (privatio boni), 
the non inluBrere deo^ constitutes sin, and, indeed, the two 
houghts — the one metaphysical, that sin is defect of being, the 
other ethical, that it is defeettrf-goodness — coincideaswe reflect 
on them,* just as in the examination of grace the metaphysical 
(the finding of being from not-being) and the ethico-religious 
elements always accord. This sin is a state: the wretched 
necessity of being unable to refrain from sinning (misera necess- 
itas non posse non peccandi). Freedom in the sense of free 
choice is not destroyed ; * but the freedom still existing always 
leads to sin ; and this state is all the more dreadful, as there 
exists a certain knowledge of the good, nay, even a powerless 
desire for it, which invariably succumbs.® Positively, however, 
the sinful state presents itself as the rule of the devil over men, 

^ That grace is gratis data only appears certain to Augustine from the contention 
that it is irresistibilis, and embraces the donum perseverantia. The doctrine that the 
election of grace is unconditioned thus appears most plainly at the close of the whole 
line of thought ; see De corrept et grat. 34, and the writings De dono persev. and De 
prsedest. sanct. But, according to Augustine, no one can be certain jhat he posse sses 
this grace. Therefore with ail his horror 4>f sin, Augustine had not experiencedHie - 
horror of uncertainty of jsftlvation. For this reason Christ ean take so secondary a 
■ place in the working out of the process of grace. Christ is for him the Redeemer, and 
is actively present in the Sacraments ; but he is not the pledge of the inner assurance 
of salvation. 

' But Augustine assumes different degrees also in definitive salvation and perdition. 
That is characteristic for his moral theory. 

• Domer, p. 124 ff. 

4 See above, p. 1 14 f. 

8 This ^-as constantly admitted by Augustine. 

' We find in Augustine the two positions, that sinful man does not will goodness, 
and that he yet, under a blind impulse, pursues blessings, nay, even the good, bat 
without ever attaining them. 



as pride^ and concupiscence?' From that rule it follows that 
man must be redeemed /r^w without before he can be helped.* 
Pride in relation to God and concupiscence show that man is 
sinful in soul and body. Yet the emphasis falls on concupis- 
cence ; * it is the lower desire, sensuous lust, which shows itself 
above all in the lust of the flesh. The motus genitalium^ inde- 
pendent even of the will^ teaches us that nature is corrupt; it has 
not become vice (vitium), but it is vitiated (natura vitiata).*^ // 

1 The inclination to nothing (not-being) is always at the same time a striving for 
independence, which is &ilse, and ends in being resultless. 

3 Pride is the sin of the soul, concupiscence essentially that of the body which 
masters the soul. The inner evolution of sin from privatio (defectus) boni to ignore 
aniia^ concupiscentia^ errors dolor, metus, deUctatio morbiday see Enchir. 23. What 
Augustine always regarded most in sin was the infirmity, the wound. 

> The work of the historical Christ is essentially redemption from the power of the 

* Here enters the popular Catholic element, still further accentuated, however, by 
Augustine. Enchir. 117 : '* Regnat camalis cupiditas, ubi non est dei caritas." 

^ The extremely disgusting disquisitions on marriage and lust in the polemical 
writings against Julian (also De civ. dei XIV.) are, as the latter rightly perceived, 
hardly independent of Augustine's Manichsdsm : (Julian, indeed, traces Traducianism 
to Manichaeism ; see Op. imperf. III. 172). (Manichsdsm, besides, already appears, 
in the treatment of the " ex nihilo," a.s if it were an evil substance ; Neoplatonism 
alone does not, in my opinion, explain this conception ; yet the above dependence can- 
not be strictly proved — see Loofs, D.-Gesch., 3 Ed., p. 215.) And the disquisitions 
are by no means a mere outwork in Augustine's system ; they belong to its very 
centre. The most remarkable feature in the sexual sphere was, in his view, the in- 
voluntariness of the impulse. But instead of inferring that it could not therefore be 
sinful — and this should have been the inference in keeping with the principle ** omne 
peccatum ex voluntate " — he rather concludes that there is a sin which belongs to 
nature, namely, to natura vitiata^ and not to the sphere of the will. He accordingly 
perceives a sin rooted in natura, of course in the form which it has assumed, a sin 
that propagates itself with our nature. It would be easy now to prove that in think- 
ing of inherited sin, he always has chiefly in view this very sin, the lust of procreation; 
but it is impracticable to quote his material here. // is clear that inherited sin is the 
basis of all wickedness, and that it is in quite a different position from actual sins, 
because in it nature, haviTig become eml, infects the whole being. But it is obvious that 
this was an unheard of novelty in the Church, and must be explained by reference to 
Manichaeism. Of course Augustine did not intend to be a Manichsean. He dis- 
tinguishes sharply between vitium and natura vitiata (De nupt. 36 ; Op. imp. III. 
188, etc., etc.,) ; he strives to introduce the " voluntarium " even into inherited sin^ 
(Retract I. 13, 5) ; but dualism is not surmounted simply by supposing nature 
to have become ** mala," and yet to propagate itself as evil, and the voluntarium is a 
mere assertion. The dualism lies in the proposition that children possess original 
sin, because their parents have procreated them in lust — and by this proposition stands 



therefore propagates sin. That it does so is attested by the 
evidence of the senses, the sensuous, and therefore sinful pleasure 
in the act of procreation, and by Holy Scripture (Rom. V, 12 f). 
Thus mankind is a massa perditionis also in the sense that it 
procreates sin in itself from a corrupt nature. But since the 
soul in all probability is not procreated at the same time, it is 
in each case created by God,^ so the body, begotten in the lust 
of the flesh, is quite essentially the bearer of sin.^ That the 
latter thus descends is decreed by God ; for sin is not always 
merely sin, but also, or often only, the punishment of sin 
(J>eccatum and malum combine in the sense of evil).* The sin 
which descends in the massa perditionis (peccatum origrinis, 
tradux peccati) is at once sin and sin's punishment. This has 
been ordained by him who decreed sins (the " ordinator pecca- 
torum)." Every desire involves infatuation. It is the penalty 
of sin that we do the evil we would not. Every sin carries 
with it dissolution, the death of the sinner. It rends and 

or falls the doctrine of original sin (De ntipt. II. 15). So also Christ has sinlessness 
attributed to him, because he was not bom of marriage (Ench. 41, 34), and Augustine 
imagined paradisaical marriages in which children were begotten without lust, or» as 
Julian says jestingly, were to be shaken from trees. All that he here maintains had 
been long ago held by Marcion and the Gnostics. One would have, in fact, to be a 
very rough being not to be able, and that without Manichaeism, to sympathise with 
his feeling. But to yield to it so £»: as Augustine did, without rejecting marriage in 
consequence, could only happen at a time when doctrines were as confused as in the 
fifth century. Those, indeed, have increased the confusion still further, who have 
believed that they could retain Augustine's doctrine of inherited sin while rejecting 
his teaching as to concupiscence. But the history of dogma is the history of ever 
increasing confusions, and of a growing indifference not only to the absurd, but also 
10 contradictions, because the Church was only with difficulty capable of giving up 
anything found in tradition. It cannot also be said that Augustine by his theory 
simply gave expression to the monastic tendency (Jerome, indeed, has gone just as fei 
in Ws rejection of marriage — see lib. adv. Jovin. ) ; for this was a tendency and not 
a theory. The legitimate point in Augustine's doctrine lies in the judgment passed 
by the child of God on himself, viz., that without God he is wretched, and that this 
wretchedness is guilt. But this paradox of the verdict of faith is no key to the 
understanding of history. 

1 See the correspondence with Jerome on this point which was never settled by 

2 This destroys the beautiful proposition (pride and humility) out of which, of 
course, no historical theories could be constructed. 

s On sin and sin*s punishment (inherited sin is both), see Op. imp. I. 41-47, but 
even in the Confessions often, and De pecc mer. II. 36. 


dismembers him, it empties him and exhausts him, until he no 
longer exists. Thus death reigns in its various forms, till it 
reaches eternal death, in the tnassa perditionis. This humanity 
which is subject to the dreary necessity of not being able to 
refrain from sin (non posse non peccare) is therefore also and at 
the same time subject to the dreadful necessity of not being 
able to escape death (non posse non mori).^ No power of its 
own can rescue it. Its best deeds are all stained from the 
roots; therefore they are nothing but splendid vices. Its 
youngest offspring, even if they have done nothing sinful, must 
necessarily be lost ; for since they possess original sin, x.^., are 
destitute of God, and are burdened with concupiscence, they 
pass justly into damnation.* This is attested also by the Church 
when it baptises newly-born children.* 

How did this state arise — a state which could not have been 
due to God the creator ? Scripture and the Church answer : 
through Adam's Fall. The magnitude of this Fall had already 
been depicted in the Church ; but from his standpoint Augustine 
had rightly to say that Adam's sin, and therewith sin in general, 
had not yet been duly perceived — yet the Church, as its insti- 
tutions prove, had, it was alleged, appreciated it truly ; writers, 
however, had fallen short of this estimate. Adam's Fall was 

1 Even inherited sin is quite enough for damnation, as Augustine has very often 
maintained—and rightly, if there is such a thing. 

^ " Mitissima poena " (Enchir. 103) — thus the man permits himself to soften the 
inscrutable righteousness of God which he teaches elsewhere. He answered the 
question why then should God continue to create men if they must almost all be lost, 
by referring to baptism, and the peculiar power of Divine Omnipotence to make good 
out of evil. Had God not been omnipotent, then he could not have permitted evil 
(Enchir. 11); "melius judicavit, de malis bene facere, quam mala nulla esse per- 
mittere " (c 27, xoo). But he himself was shaken by the problem presented by the 
death, unbaptised, of Christian children (De corr. et gr. 18), All who are lost are 
juste praedestinati ad pcenam (mortem) — see Enchir. 100 ; De civ. XXH. 24. Whether 
God damns all, or pardons some — nulla est iniquitas ; for all have deserved death 
(Enchir. 27). "Tenebatur justa damnatione genus humanum et omnes erant irae 
filii (c. 33). Here in the later writings arises the doctrine of God's twofold will 
(judicium), the secret and the manifest. God does not will that all be blessed (Enchir. 

s It was very incorrect to derive Augustine's whole conception of original sin from 
the practice of infant baptism. It was, of course, very important to him as a means 
of proof. 


inconceivably great.^ When, in the hope of becoming like God, 
he transgressed God's command not to eat the apple, all con- 
ceivable sins were compressed into his sin: the revolt to th e devil, 
pride of heart, en39c».jensuous lust — all in all : self-love in place 
of love of Goc{? AnoiTwas ainhe rtiore dreadful, as it was 
easy for Adam to refrain from sin.' Therefore also came the 
unspeakable misery, viz.^ the punishment of sin, with and in sin, 
working itself out in death. Adam lost the possession of God.* 
This was followed by complete deprivation (defectio boni), 
which is represented as the death of the soul ; for the latter 
without God is dead (spiritual death).* The dead soul is now 
drawn downwards; it seeks its blessings in the mutable and 
perishable, and is no longer capable of commanding the body. 
The latter then asserted itself with all its wanton impulses, and 
thus corrupted the whole human nature,^ 

The corruption is manifest in sexual lust, whose sinfulness is 
evidenced by compulsion and shame, and it must be inherited 
since the central seat of nature is disordered.^ It indeed still 

1 The description of the magnitude of Adam's Fall is in most of the anti-Pelagian 
writings, but also elsewhere. 

' In the case of Adam's Fall Augustine gives the greatest prominence to the sin of 
the soul : " in paradiso ab animo coepit elatio " (c. Jul. V. 17). We have ** amor sui " 
as chief and radical sin in the Confessions ; Enchir. 45 gives a precise enumeration 
of all the sins committed in one act by Adam. 

' That is, he was not only created good, but grace stood by him also as adjuiorium : 
see under. 

4 The grace supporting him (adjutorium). 

B Augustine always thinks first of this death. That the Pelagians accepted for 
their own purposes, since they held natural death to be natural. Augustine never 
maintained that formal freedom had been lost by Adam's sin, nay, in C. duas epp. 
Pelag. I. 5 he distinctly disputed this : " libertas periit, sed ilia, quiB in paradiso fuit, 
non liberum arbitrium." But Augustine has represented the latter to be hopelessly 
hampered. See also the writing De gratia et lib. arb. In it he says (c. 45) : *< deus 
ioduravit per justum judicium, et ipse Pharao per liberum arbitrium. But (Enchi*-. 
105) : ** Multo liberius erit arbitrium, quod omnino non poterit servire peccaio." 

' Thus sensuousness appears as the main detriment. 

7 Enchir. 26 : '* Hinc post peccatum exul effectus stirpem quoque suam, quam pec- 
cando in se tamquam in radice vitiaverat, pcena mortis et damnationis obstrinxit, ut 
quidquid prolis ex illo et simul damnata per quam peccaverat conjuge per carnalem 
concupiscentiam, in qua inobedientise poena similis [so far as the flesh here is not 
obedient to the will, but acts of itself] retributa est, nasceretur, traheret originale 
peccatum, quo traheretur per errores doloresque diversos ad illud eztremum sup* 


continues to be capable of redemption — it does not become an evil 
substance — but it is so corrupt that even grace can only blot out 
the guilt (reatus) of original sin ; it cannot completely extirpate 
concupiscence itself in the elect, as is proved by the survival of 
the evil sexual lust This inheriting of sin and of Adam's death 
is, however, not merely a fact, but it is just, because Scripture 
says that we have all sinned in Adam,^ because all owe their 
life to sinful lust,* and because — God is just. 

Adam's Fall presupposes that his previous constitution had 
been good. This is taught, too, by Scripture, and it follows like- 
wise from the assurance that God is the creator, and the good 
creator, of all things.* If Adam was created good, then he pos- 
sessed not only everything that a rational creature needs (body 
and soul and their due relationship as servant and master, 
reason and free wiU)^ but, above -all, grace ever supporting and 
preserving him, the adjutorium^ that is the bond of union with 
the living God ; for the virtuous man is not independent of 
God ; he is only independent when completely dependent on 
God. Adam, accordingly, not only had a free will, but this will . y 
was influenced in the direction of God} For this very reason he ^ 
was free (in God) ; but he was also free (able) to will evil ; for 
evil springs from freedom. If Adam had not possessed a free 1 
will, he would have been unable to sin ; but in that case he 
would not have been a rational creature. So he possessed the 

1 Augustine's exposition of the i^ f in De pecc. mer. I. ii ; c. Jul. VI. 75 sq. ; 
Op. imp. II. 48-55 (against mere imitation). The translation *'in quo" was 
received by Augustine from tradition, and in general his doctrine of original sin is at 
this point closest to tradition. If he had contented himself with the mystical, 1.^., 
the postulated, conception that all are sinners, because they somehow were all in 
Adam, his theory would have been no novelty. But this " in quo " does not include, 
but excludes, original sin in the strict sense ; all are sinners personally, because they 
were all in Adam, or were Adam. The conception that Adam's sin passed to all 
as actual sin, and affected them through contagion (by means of the parents who 
infect their children, Enchir. 46 ; doubts as to the extent of descent by inheritance, 
47), is the complete antithesis of that mystical conception. 

* See above, p. 210 f. 

9 On the doctrine of the primitive state, see Domer, p. 1 14 ff. 

4 Both formal freedom and the true freedom which established Adam's obedience 
as the mater omnium virtutum are very strongly emphasised by Augustine as belong- 
ng to the primitive state ; De dv. XIV. 12 ; De bono conjug. 32. On the primi- 
tive state, l.c. XI. -XIV. ; De corrept. 23-33. 


power not to sin, or die, or forsake the good (posse non peccare, 
— mori, — deserere bonum), but this through the adjutorium 
(auxiliary grace) went so far in the direction of inability to sin 
(non posse peccare) that it would have been easy for Adam to 
attain it^ Had he attained it by means of free will (liberum 
^ arbitrium), he would have received perfect blessedness in return 
for the merit involved in his perseverance, he would have re- 
mained, and escaped death, in Paradise, and would have begot- 
^ten children without sinful lust. We see that the primitive state 
was meant to be portrayed in accordance with the state of grace 
of the present ; but an important difference prevailed, since in 
the former case, the adjutorium was only the condition, under 
which Adam could use his free will lastingly in being and doing 

1 This "ease" is strongly emphasised in De civ. XIV, 12-15. The whole 
doctrine of the piimitive state, like all teaching on this subject, is full of contradic- 
tions ; for we have here a grace that is meant to be actual^ and is yet merely a con- 
dition, Le.^ it by no means makes a man good, but only leaves scope to the will. 
Thereby the whole doctrine of grace i!% upset ; for if there is a grace at all which only 
produces ^t posse non peccare^ is not this the sole significance of all grace ? and if 
that is correct, were not the Pelagians right ? They, of course, maintained that 
grace was only a condition. Augiistinis doctrine of grace in the primitive state {the 
adjutorium) is Pelagian^ and contradicts his doctrine of grace elsewhere. We have 
here the clearest proof that it is impossible to construct a history from the standpoint 
of predestinating grace. Augustine falls back on the assumption that God wished to 
bestow on man a higher good than that he had received at first. Enchir. 25, 105 : 
'* Sic enim oportebat prius hominem fieri, ut et bene velle posset et male, nee gratis 
si bene, nee impune, si male ; postea vero sic erit, ut male velle non possit, nee ideo 
libero carebit arbitrio , . . ordo prsetermittendus non fuit, in quo deus ostendere 
voluit, quam bonum sit animal rationale quod etiam non peccare possit, quamvis sit 
melius quod peccare non possit.'* But how does that accord with irresistible grace ? 
Therefore the question rightly arises (De corrept. et gratia) : " Quomodo Adnm non 
perseverando peccavit, qui perseverantiam non accepit ?" Is not the whole doctiine 
of grace upset if we have to read (Enchir. 106) : *'Minorem immortalitatem (t.^., 
posse non mori) natura humana perdidit per liberum arbitrium, majorem (f.^., non 
posse mori) est acceptura per gratiam, quam fuerat, si non peccasset, acceptura per 
meritum, quamvis sine gratia nee tunc uUum meritumesse potuisset?" Accordingly, 
at the beginning and end (the primitive state and the Judgment) the moral view is set 
above the religious. The whole doctrine of predestinating irresistible grace is set in 
a frame incompatible with it. Thus Augustine i.^ himself responsible if his Church iii 
after times, arguing from the primitive state and the Judgment (secundum merita), 
has eliminaied practically his doctrine oi gratia gratis data. He, indeed, said himself 
(107) : " ipsa vita aeterna merces est operum bonorum." That would have been the 
case with Adam, and it is also ours. The infralapsarian doctrine of predestination, 
as un lerstood by Augustine, is very different from Calvin's. 


good, while in the latter, it is the power, that, being irresistible, 
brings fallen man to perfection. 

Contemporary criticism on this system may here be briefl^..^ 
summed up. Augustine contradicted himself in maintaining 
that all ability to attain goodness had been lost, and in yet ad^ 
niitting that freedom of choice — the decisive thing — remained.^ 
His notion of freedom was self-destructive* since he defined 
freedom as lasting dependence on God. His conception of 
original sin was self-contradictory, because he himself admitted 
that sin always springs from the wilL He was compelled to 
teacH Traducianism, which, however, is a heresy. And his 
Scriptural exegesis was arbitrary. In particular, God provokes 
sins, if he punishes sin with sin, and decrees the reign of sin ; 
he is unjust if he imputes to men the sins of others, while for- 
giving them their own, and, further, if he accepts some, and not 
others, just as he pleases. This contention leads to despair. , 
Above all, however, the doctrine of original sin leads to Mani- { 
chsBan dualism, which Augustine never surmounted, and is ^ 
accordingly an impious and foolish dogma. For, turn as he 
will, Augustine affirms an evil nature^ and therewith a diabolic 
creator^ of the world. His doctrine of concupiscence conduces to 
the same view. Besides, he depreciates the glorious gift of 
human freedom, nay, even divine grace in Christ, since he holds \ 
that original sin is never entirely removed. Finally, his doc- ■ 
trines of the exclusive efficacy of grace and predestination put 
an end not only to asceticism and the meritoriousness of good 
works, but also to all human doings. It is useless to exhort, 
intercede for, or blame sinners, etc. In the end, even the con- 
nection with the Church, which Augustine insisted on so ener- 
getically in the Donatist controversy, seemed to be superseded. 

Truth and error exist side by side in these observations. 
Perhaps the following considerations will be more pertinent 
(i) The impossibility of determining the fate of the whole body 
of mankind and of every separate individual from the stand- 
point oi gratia gratis data^ is shown in the thesis of the damna- 


tion of children who die unbaptised; Here Augustine impugns 
the thought of God's righteousness. But this thought must 
become worthless altogether if everything is overruled by pre- 
destinating and irresistible grace. Thereby a grave injury is 
inflicted on piety. (2) The carrying out of the conception of 
predestinating grace, which should be no more than a senti- 
ment, confined to himself^ of the redeemed, leads to a determinism 
that conflicts with the gospel and imperils the vigour of our 
sense of freedom. Besides, the assumption of irresistible grace 
rests above all experience, even above that of the believer, and 
the doctrine of God's twofold will (see de grat et lib. arb. 45) 
makes everything affecting faith uncertain. (3) Augustine did 
not by any means hold so certainly that grace was grace through 
Christ, as that it proceeded from the secret operation of God, 
The acosmic Neoplatonic element in the doctrine of predestina- 
tion imperilled not only the efficacy of the Word and Sacrament 
(vocatio and justificatio), but also redemption through Christ in 
general. (4) The religious tendency in the system, the belief 
that the decisive point was cleaving or not cleaving to God, re- 
ceived in the sequel a new version, and the moral attitude 
became rather the crucial question — the will, of course when 
freed, was an efficient cause of righteousness. For this reason 
the meaning of forgiveness, of the new fundamental relation to 
God, and of the assurance of faith, was misunderstood. The 
former became an act of initiation, the relation became tempo- 
rary, and the assurance of faith, which even according to the 
doctrine of predestination need not arise, was lost in the con- 
ception of a process of sanctification never or almost never 
completed in this world, a process to which various grades of 
salvation, just as there were various degrees of damnation, cor- 
responded in the world beyond. What a proof of moralism ! ^ 
Between the thesis of the ancient (Greek) Church : " Where the 
knowledge of God is, come also life and salvation," and Luther's 
principle : " Where we have forgiveness of sins, we have also 
life and salvation," we find Augustine's : " Where love is there 
also follows a salvation corresponding to the measure of love." 

1 Enchir. 93 : " Tanto quisque tolerabiliortm ibi habebit damnationem, quanto hie 
minorem habuit iniquitatem ! " Also iii. 



Augustine examined the equation remission of sins = grace 
through Christ, and expressly rejected it This turn he gave 
his doctrine also explains the contention that God, in the end, 
crowns our merits, a view that conflicts with predestinating 
grace, and opens the door to a refined form of righteousness by 
works.^ (5) The Neoplatonic notion of God and the monastic 
tendency demand that all love should at the same time present it- 
self in the form of asceticism. Thereby love drifts still further 
apart from faith (as fiducia), threatens the sovereignty of the 
latter, and gives free scope for all sorts of popular Catholic concep- 
tions. (6) The conception — necessary in the system — of Adam's 
Fall and original sin contains — apart from the mythology which 
here takes the place of history — a bundle of inconsistencies and 
extremely questionable ideas. The latter Augustine also per- 
ceived, and he tried, but without success, to guard against them. 
Absolutely Manichaean is the view that man sins because he 
was created from nothing, " nothing '* being here treated as an 
evil principle. (The Neoplatonic doctrine also sees in this 
" nothing " the ground of sin ; but to it sin is merely finitude, \ 
Augustine took a more profound view of sin, but he had also to 
conceive the nihil as " more evil " in proportion, i>., to convert it 
into the evil substance of Manichism.) Manichaean also is the 
opinion that sexual desire is sinful, and that inherited sin is 
explained simply from procreation as the propagation of a 
vitiated nature (natura vitiata),* Absolutely contradictory ar6 

1 Augustine attempterl, in opposition to Pelagianism, to exhibit the difference 
between the law and faith : '* fides impetrat quod lex imperat." He also succeeded 
as far as the difference can be evolved from the notion of grace as the exclusive opera- 
tion of God. But since he had not obtained an insight into the strict and exclusive 
cohesion of grace and faith, he did not succeed in thinking out and holding fast the 
distinction between law and faith to the end. He had no assured experience that the 
law prepared the way for wrath and despair. At this point Luther intervened. 

It is perhaps the worst, it is at any rate the most odious, consequence of Augus- 
tinianism, that the Christian religion in Catholicism is brought into particularly close 
relations to the sphere of sex. The combination of grace and sin (in which the latter 
takes above all the form of original sin identified with the sexual impulse and its 
excesses) became the justification of that gruesome and disgusting raking up of 
human filth, which, as is proved by the moral books of Catholicism, is a chief business 
of the priest, the celibate priest and monk, in the confessional. The dogmatic 
treatises of mediaeval and modem times give, under the heading ''sin," a wholly 
colourless idea of what is really considered ''sin," of that which incessantly occupies 


the positions that all sin springs from freedom (the will), and 
that children just born are in a state of sin. It is extremely- 
suspicious to find that, when sin is more minutely dealt with, 
concupiscence is practically ranked above alienation from God 
(deo non adhaerere), this also^ indeed, resulting from uncertainty 
as to Traducianism. It again raises our doubts when we see 
original sin treated as if it were more serious than actual sin ; 
/ for while the former can only be washed out by baptism, the 
latter can be atoned for by penance. The whole doctrinal 
conception at this point shows that the conviction of the 
redeemed, that without God he is lost and unfit to do any good 
work, is a verdict of the believer on himself, a verdict that 
marks a limits but can never become a principle by which to 
consider the history of mankind. At this pointy just because the 
contradictions were so enormous^ the development of dogmatic with 
Augustine was on the verge of casting ojf the immense material in 
which it had been entangled^ and of withdrawing from, the inter- 
pretation of the world and history ; but as Augustine would 
not abandon that material^ so men will not^ even at the 
present day, let it go, because they suppose that the Bible 
protects it, and because they will not learn the humility 
of faith, that shows itself in renunciation of the attempt 
to decide on God's government of the world in history.* 

the imagination of common Christians, priests, and, unfortunately, also many 
" saints.'' We have to study the mirrors of the confessional, the moral books and 
legends of the saints, and to surprise the secret life, to perceive to what point in 
Catholicism religious consolation is especially applied. Truly, the renowned educa- 
tional wisdom of this Church makes a sad shipwreck on this rock ! It seeks here 
also to oppose sin ; but instead of quieting the imagination, which is especially 
interested in it, it goes on exciting it to its depths, drags the most secret things 
shamelessly to the light in its dogmas of the virgin, etc., and permits itself to speak 
openly of matters of which no one else ventures to talk. Ancient naturaUsm is less 
dangerous, at any rate for thousands less infectious, than this seraphic contemplation 
of viiginity, and this continual attention to the sphere of sex. Here Augustine 
transmitted the theory, and Jerome the music. But how far the beginnings reach 
back ! Tertullian had already written the momentous words (De pudic. 17) : 
'* Quid intelligimus camis sensum et camis vitam nisi quodcunque pudet pronuntiare ? " 
Later writers were nevertheless not ashamed to utter broadly what the far from 
prudish African only suggested. 

^ We have at the same time to notice that no Church Father was so keenly con- 
scious as he of the limitations of knowledge. In almost all his writings — ^a bequest 


(7) But apart from original sin, Augustine's notion of sin 
raises doubts, because it is constructed at least as much on the 
thought of God as the supreme and true being (summum and 
verum esse) as on that of his goodness (bonum esse). Although 
the stamp of guilt is not wholly misunderstood, yet it is the 
thought of the misery produced by sin with its destructiveness 
and hideousness that comes to the front. Hence we under- 
stand why Augustine, passing over justifying faith, perceived 
the highest good in "infused love " (caritas infusa). (8) Finally 
the doctrine of the primitive state is beset by inconsistency, 
because Augustine could not avoid giving grace another mean- 
ing in that state from that it possessed in the process by which 
the redeemed is justified. With him grace is ultimately 
identical with irresistible grace — anything else is a semblance 
of it ; but though Adam possessed grace, it was not irresistible. 
But all these grave objections cannot obscure the greatness 
of the perception that God works in us " to will and to accom- ^ 
plish," that we have nothing that we have not received, and 
that dependence on God is good, and is our possession. It is 
easy to show that in every single objectionable theory formu- 
lated by Augustine, there lurks a true phase of Christian self- 
criticism, which is only defective because it projects into history, 
or is made the foundation on which to construct a " history.'* 
Is not the doctrine of predestination an expression of the confes- 
sion: " He who would boast, let him boast in the Lord"? Is 
not the doctrine of original sin based on the thought that 
behind all separate sins there resides sin as want of love, joy, 
and divine peace? Does it not express the just view that we 
feel ourselves guilty of all evil, even where we are shown that 
we have no guilt ? 

of the Academy and a result of his thought being directed to the main matter — he 
exhorts his hearers to refrain from over-curiousness, a pretence of knowledge that 
runs to seed. He set aside as insoluble very many problems that had been and were 
afterwards often discussed, and he prepared the way for the concentration of the 
doctrinal system on its own material. 


4. Augustine's Interpretation of the Symbol (Enchiridion 
ad Laurentium). The New System of Religion. 

After the exposition given above p. 106 f., we shall best con- 
clude our account of Augustine's rdle in the history of dogma, 
by reviewing the expositions given in the Enchiridion of the 
contents of the Catholic religion. Everything is combined in 
this book to instruct us as to the nature of the revision (and on 
the other hand of the confirmation) by Augustine of the popular 
Catholic dogmatic doctrine that gave a new impress to the 
Western CHurch. We shall proceed first to give a minute 
analysis of the book, and then to set down systematically what 
was new and at the same time lasting. 

Augustine begins by saying that the wisdom of man is piety 
(" hominis sapientia pietas est " or more accurately ** Oeoa-efieia ") 
{2). The answer to the question how God is to be worshipped, 
is — by faith, hope, and love. We have accordingly to determine 
what is meant by each of these three virtues (3). In them is 
comprised the whole doctrine of religion. They cannot, how- 
ever, be established by reason or perception, but must be 
derived from Holy Scripture, and be implicitly believed in on 
the testimony of the sacred writers (4). When the soul has 
attained this faith, it will, if faith works in love, strive to reach 
that vision by which holy and perfected souls perceive the 
ineffable beauty, the complete contemplation of which is 
supreme blessedness. " The beginning in faith, the completion 
in sight, the foundation Christ." But Christ is the foundation 
only of the Catholic faith, although heretics also call themselves 
by his name. The evidence for this exclusive relationship 
between Christ and the Catholic Church would carry us too far 
here (s). We do not intend to enter into controversy, but to 
expound (6). The Symbol and the Lord's Prayer constitute the 
contents of faith (symbol), and of hope and love (prayer) ; but 
faith also prays (7). Faith applies also to things which we do 
not hope for, but fear ; and further to our own affairs and those 
of others. So far as it — like hope — refers to invisible, future 
blessings, it is itself hope. But without love it profits nothing. 



because the devils also believe. Thus everything is compre- 
hended in faith, which works by love and possesses hope (8). 

Augustine now passes to the Symbol (the ancient Apostolic 
creed), in order to state the contents of faith. In §§ 9-32, he 
deals with the first article. The knowledge of nature and 
physics does not belong to faith — besides, scholars conjecture 
rather than know in this matter (opinantes quam scientes). 
It is enough for the Christian to believe that the goodness 
of the creator is simply the first cause of all things, so that 
there is no nature unless either it is he himself, or is of him. 
Further, that this creator is the "Trinity, supremely and equally, 
and unchangeably good " (trinitas summe et aequabiliter et 
immutabiliter bona), and that while created things do not 
possess this quality, they are good ; nay, everything collectively 
is very good, and produces a wonderful beauty, in which evil, 
set in its right place, only throws the good into relief (9, 10). 
Augustine at once passes to the doctrine of evil. God permits 
it only because he is so powerful that he can make good out of 
evil, /.^., he can restore the defect of the good (privatio boni), 
evil being represented as such defect (morbus [disease] vulnus 
[wound]). In the notion of that which is not supremely good 
(non summum bonum esse) we have the capacity for deteriora- 
tion ; but the good, which is involved in the existence of any 
substance, cannot be annihilated, unless the substance itself be 
destroyed. But in that case corruption itself also ceases, since 
it can never exist save in what is good : evil can only exist in 
what is good (in a bonum). This is expounded at length (i i-i 5). 
The causes of good and evil must be known, in order to escape 
the errors and infirmities (aerumnae) of this life. On the other 
hand, the causes of great movements in nature — Augustine 
returns to § 9 — need not be known ; we do not even know the 
conditions of our health, which yet lie nearest us (16) ! 

But is not every error an evil, and what are we to think of 
deception, lying? These questions are minutely discussed in 
§§ 17-22. Every case of ignorance is not an error, but only 
supposed knowledge is, and every error is not hurtful ; there is 
even a good error, one that is of use. But since it is unseemly 
(deforme atque indecens) for the mind to hold the truth to be 


false, and the uncertain certain, our life is for that very reason 
wretched, because at times we need error that we may not lose 
our life. Such will not be that existence, "where truth itself 
will be the life of our soul " (ubi ipsa Veritas vita animae nostrae 
erit). But the lie is worst, so bad that even liars themselves 
hate being lied to. But yet falsehood offers a difficult problem. 
(The question of lying in an emergency, whether it can become 
a duty for a righteous man, is elaborately discussed.) Here 
again the most important point is to determine wherein one 
errs : "// is far more tolerable to lie in those things that are uncon- 
nected with religion titan to be deceived in those witltout belief in^ or 
knowledge of which God cannot be worshipped'^ (^8).^ Looked 
at accurately, every error is an evil, though often, certainly, a 
small one. It is possible to doubt whether every error is also 
sinful — e,g,^ a confusion about twins, or holding sweet to be 
bitter, etc. ; at all events, in such cases the sin is exceedingly 
small and trivial (minimum et levissimum peccatum), since it 
has nothing to do with the way that leads to God, i.e, with the 
faith that works in love. Error is, indeed, rather an evil than a 
sin, a sign of the misery of this life. In any case, however, we 
may not, in order to avoid all error, seek to hold nothing to be 
true — like the Academicians ; for it is our duty to believe. 
Besides the standpoint of absolute nescience is impracticable ; 
for even he who knows not must deduce his existence from this 
consciousness of nescience (20). We must, on the contrary, 
avoid the lie ; for even when we err in our thought, we must 
always say what we think.* Even the lie which benefits another 
is sinful, although men who have lied for the general advantage 
have contributed a great deal to prosperity (22). Augustine 
returns to § 16: we must know the causes of good and evil. 
The sole first cause of the good is the goodness of God; the 
cause of evil is the revolt of the will from the unchangeable God 

^ " Longe tolerabilius est in his que a religione sunt sejuncta mentiri, quam in ib, 
sine quorum fide vel notitia deus coli non potest, falH.'' E.g,^ to tell anyone falsely 
that a dead man is still alive is a much less evil than to believe erroneously that 
Christ will die once more. 

3 C. 22. " Et utique verba propterea sunt instituta, non per quae se homines invicem 
fallunt, sed per quse in alterius quisque notitiam cogitationes suas perferaU" 
(Compare Talleyrand). 


on the part of a being, good but changeable, first, an angel, then 
man (23). From this revolt follow all the other infirmities of 
the soul [ignorance, concupiscence, etc.] (24). But the craving 
for blessedness (appetitus beatitudinis) was not lost 

We now have an exposition of Adam's endowment, the Fall, 
original sift, the scnence of death, the massa damnata, which 
suffers along with the doomed angels, etc. God's goodness is 
shown, however, in his grant of continued existence to the 
wicked angels, for whom there is no conversion besides, and in 
his preservation of men. Although it would have been only 
justice to give them also over to eternal punishment, he resolved 
to bring good out of evil (25-27). It was his merciful intention, 
f>., to supplement from mankind the number of the angels who 
persevered in goodness, rendered incomplete by the fall of some, 
in order that the heavenly Jerusalem might retain its full com- 
plement, nay, should be increased by the " sons of our Holy 
Mother " [filii sanctae matris] (28-29). But the men chosen owe 
this not to the merits -of their own works (to free will); for in 
themselves they are dead like the rest (suicides), and are only 
free to commit sin. Before they are made free, accordingly, 
they are slaves ; they can only be redeemed by grace and faith. 
Even faith is God's gift, and works will not fail to follow it Thus 
they only become free, when God fashions them anew (into the 
nova creaiura), producing the act of will as well as its accom- 
plishment ("quamvis non pbssit credere, sperare, diligere homo 
rationalis, nisi velit" — although rational man cannot believe> 
hope, or love, unless he will).^ That is, God makes the will 
itself good (misericordia praeveniens) and constantly assists it 
[miseric. subsequens] (30-32). 

The exposition of the second article follows in §§ 33-55. 
Since all men are by nature children of wrath, and are burdened 
by original sin and their own sins, a mediator (reconciliator) was 
necessary, who should appease this wrath (justa vindicta) by 
presenting a unique sacrifice. That this was done, and we from 
being enemies became children, constitutes the grace of God 
through Jesus Christ (33). We know that this mediator is the 
" Word " that became flesh. The Word was not transformed^ 

^ C. 32 : '* Ex uiroque fit, id est, ex volantate hominb et misericordia dei." 



but assumed our complete human nature from the vii^n, being 
conceived not by the libido matriSy but by faith — and therefore 
sinlessly.^ The mother remained a virgin in giving birth (in 
partu) (34). We have now a short discussion on Christ as 
" God and man in unity of person, equal to God, and as man 
less than God " (35). Christ, the man who was deemed 
worthy to be assumed by God to form one person with him, is 
the most splendid example of grace given gratis^ and not 
according to merits. The same grace that fell to the man 
Christ and made him sinless falls to us in justification from 
sins. It also revealed itself in Christ's miraculous birth, in con- 
nection with which, besides, the Holy Ghost did not act like a 
natural father. It was rather the whole Trinity that created the 
offspring of the virgin : the man Jesus, like the world, is the crea- 
tion of the Trinity. But why precisely the Holy Ghost is named, 
it is hard to say. In any case, the man Jesus was not the son 
of the Spirit, but the latter is probably named in order to point 
to the grace that, existing without any preceding merits, had 
become in the man Jesus an attribute which in some way was 
natural (quodammodo naturalis) ; for the Holy Spirit is " so far 
God that he may be called the gift of God " [sic deus, ut dica- 
tur etiam del donum] (36-40). This is followed again by a long 
section (41 to 52) on sin and the relation of Christ to it Christ 

1 Augustine's whole conception of the sinfulness mingled with all procreation, and 
his view that sexual desire is due not to nature as originally cieated, hut to sin, have 
admittedly their roots in the earliest period. But they were expressed with Augus- 
tine's thoroughness only by the Gnostics, Mardon and — the author of the fragment 
De resurrecHone ascribed to Justin. The parallel offered by the latter (c. 3) is ex* 
tremely striking. There is not yet, naturally, any question of sin being propagated 
through sexual union ; that union is held simply to be sinful ; fi'^pas itrrlw iwipyeia 
rh KxJtffKCiy Kal fioplov ivdpiKOv rd arepfuUveiy &(rr€p d4, el raOra fiiKket hrtpytar 
ra&ras rd$ ipepyelaSf o^tas odx ivayKoiov a&rdis itrrip t6 r^y ^^P0(^^ ^epyeip {ipta/uw 
yow iroXXds ywouxat fiii Kvurxoijffat, dn rdf arelpat, kcU fiifyrpas ix*^^'^^^)t ofh-tn o^c 
cdSivt Kal t6 fi-fyrpay (tx,€iy koI KvtaKcw dyayxdi^ei' dXXd xal fA^ areipai fih i^ dpxv** 
TapOeveOovaai 84, Karfipyt^av koX r^v awowrlop, h-epoi hk kqX 6,Tb "xpbvov koX robt 
Apaevas di rods fUv &iri^rxrit irapdeve^yras bpQfLeWy rain 8i drd xp^^^t ^<^^ 9i* adrwr 
KaToK^ffSai rbv 5i irtBvfUas A»ofju» ydfiw There are also beasts that refrain from 
having connection, dnrre jcai di ifSpdnruf xal 81 d.\6ytap Karapyovfuhniv ffvpovaUuf rpiif 
Tov ^AXorror o/cSros 6pcur4?(u* Kal 6 K^ptot 8k ^fuov *lrt(rovs 6 ILpurrbt od 8i* dXXo rt is 
irap04pov iyeinrffSrit dXX* t»a Karapyffff'ff y4pprja'i¥ hriBvfdai Apdfutv Kal Sei^ rf dpxom 
Kol 8ixo^ awovalas drOpunrUfrfs bwariiy eli^cu rt} $ef t^p dpSpiinrov Tkirur 


was free from original and actual sin, but was himself — on 
account of similarity to sinful flesh — absolutely called sin. That 
is, he became a sacrifice for sin, representing our sin in the 
flesh in which he was crucified, ** that in some way he might die 
to sin, in dying to the flesh," ^ and from the Resurrection 
might seal our new life (41). That is bestowed on us in baptism. 
Everyone dies to sin in baptism — even the children, who die to 
original sin — and in this respect sin is to be understood collec- 
tively ; for even in Adam's sin many forms of sin were con- 
tained. But children are obviously infected not only by 
Adam's sin, but also by those of their parents. For their birth 
is corrupt, because by Adam's sin nature was perverted ; more- 
over the actual sins of parents "although they cannot thus 
change nature, impose guilt on the children " (etsi non ita pos- 
sunt mutare naturam, reatu tamen obligant filios). But Augus- 
tine refrains from deciding how far the sins of ancestors project 
their influence in the chain of descent It is all expiated by the 
mediator, the man Jesus Christ, who was alone equipped with 
such grace as not to need regeneration ; for he only accepted 
baptism by John in order to give a grand example of humility, 
just as he also submitted to death, not from compulsion, but in 
order to let the devil receive his rights (42-49). Christ is thus 
Adam's anti-type ; but the latter only introduced one sin into the 
world, while Christ took away all that had since been com- 
mitted. All were condemned in Adam ; none escapes the con- 
demnation without Christ. Baptism is to be solemnised as " the 
grand mystery in the cross of Christ" (mysterium grande in 
cruce Christi) ; for according to Paul baptism is " nothing but 
the similitude of Christ's death ; but the death of Christ cruci- 
fied is nothing but the similitude of the remission of sin, that as 
in him a true death took place, so in us a true remission of 
sins."* This is elaborated in accordance with Rom. VI ; we are 
dead to sin through baptism (50-52). The clauses of the Sym- 
bol are now enumerated down to the "sitting at the right hand" 

1 *< Ut quodammodo peccato moreretur, dum mozitar cami." 

3 " Nihil aliud nisi similitudo mortis Christi ; nihil autem aliud mortem Christi 
CTUcifixi nisi remissionis peccati similitudinem, ut quemadmodum in illo vera mors 
facta est, sic in nobis vera remissio peccatorum." 


with the observation : " // was so carried out that in these matters 
the Christian life which is borne here sJwuld be typified not only 
mystically by words but also by deeds''^ That is established in 
connection with each separate article. Thus the " sitting at the 
right hand " means : " set your affections on those things that 
are above " (quee sursum sunt sapite). On the other hand, the 
Return of Christ has no reference to our earthly life. It belongs 
entirely to the future. The judgment of the living and dead 
may also suggest to us the just and unjust (53-55). 

To the third article §§ 56-113 are devoted; it is accordingly 
most elaborately elucidated. §§ 56-63 treat of the Holy Ghost, 
who completes the Trinity, and so is no part of creation, 
and also of the Holy Church. This is the temple and city of 
the Trinity. But it is here regarded as a whole. That is, it 
includes the section which exists in heaven and has never ex- 
perienced a fall — the angels who aid the pilgrim part (pars 
peregrinans) being already united with it by love (56). The 
Church in heaven is void of evil and unchangeable. Augustine 
admits that he does not know whether there are degrees of rank 
among the angels, whether the stars belong to them, or what 
the truth is as to their bodily form (57-59). It is more impor- 
tant to determine when Satan invests himself in the form of an 
angel of light (60). We shall only know the state of the 
heavenly Church when we belong to it ourselves. The Church 
of this world, for which Christ died, we do know ; for the angels 
he did not die ; yet the result of his work also extends to them, 
in so far as enmity to them is at an end, and their number is 
once more complete. Thus by the one sacrifice the earthly 
host is again united with the heavenly, and the peace is re- 
stored that transcends all thought — not that of angels, but of 
men ; but even angels, and men who have entered the state of 
felicity, will never comprehend the peace of God as God him- 
self does (61-63). 

Augustine now passes to the "remission of sins" (64-83): 
" by this stands the Church on earth " (per hanc stat ecclesia 
quae in terris est). So far as our sins are forgiven, " the angels 

^ '* Ita gestum est, ut his rebus noD mystice tantum dictis sed etiam gestis configu- 
raretur vita Christiana quae hie geritur." 


are even now in harmony with us" (concordant nobiscum 
angeli etiam nunc). In addition to the "great indulgence," 
there is a continuous remission of sins, which even the most ad- 
vanced of the righteous need, for they often descend to their 
own level and sin. Certainly the life of the saints may be free 
from transgressions, but not from sin (64). But even for grave 
offences there is forgiveness in the Church after due penance ; 
and the important point is not the time of penance,but the anguish 
of the penitent. But since this emotion is concealed from our 
fellow-men, and cannot be inspected, the bishops have rightly 
instituted penitential seasons "that the Church may also be 
satisfied," the Church beyond whose pale there is no forgive- 
ness ; for it alone has received the pledge of the Holy Ghost 
(65). Evils remain in this world in spite of the salutaria sacra- 
menta^ that we may see that the future state is their goal. 
There are punitive evils ; for sins last on, and are punished in 
this life or the next (66). We must certainly not fancy that 
faith by itself protects from future judgment (cw ^la irvpoi), it 
is rather only the faith that works in love (faith and works). 
By " wood and stubble '* we are not to understand sins, but 
desires after earthly things lawful in themselves (67, 68). It is 
credible that a purifying fire exists for believers even after 
death (69) — sinners can only be saved by a corresponding 
penance combined with almsgiving. Almsgiving is now discussed 
in detail (69-77). At the Last Judgment the decision turns on 
it (Mat. XXV. 34 ff.). Of course we are at the same time to 
amend our lives; "God is to be propitiated for past sins by 
alms, not by any means to be bribed that we may always be 
allowed to commit sins with impunity."^ God blots out sins 
" if due satisfaction is not neglected " (si satisfactio congrua non 
negligatur), without giving permission to sin (70). Daily 
prayer furnishes satisfaction for small and light daily sins (71).* 
The forgiveness, also, that we bestow on others is a kind of 
alms. Speaking generally, everything good we give to others, 

1 " Per eleemosjrnas de peccatis prseteritis est propitiandus deus, non ad hoc 
emendus quodam modo, ut peccata semper liceat impune committere." Accordingly 
some Catholics must even then have looked on alms as conferring a license. 

s *' Delet omnino hsc oratio minima et quotidiana peccata." 


advice, comfort, discipline, etc., is alms. By this we besides 
help to gain forgiveness of our own sins (72). But the highest 
stages of almsgiving are forgiveness of sins and love of our 
enemies (73).^ Those virtues everyone must practise, that he 
himself may be forgiven (74). But all these alms fail to benefit 
us unless we amend ourselves ; that is, the alms we give to our- 
selves are the most important. Of him alone who has mercy 
on himself is the saying true : " Give alms and all is right (pure) 
with you." We must love ourselves with the love that God has 
bestowed on us ; this the Pharisees, who only gave outward 
alms, did not do, for they were the enemies of their own souls 
(75-77). The divine judgment, however, can alone deter- 
mine what sins are light or grave. Many things permitted by 
the apostles — e,g,^ matrimonial intercourse prompted by desire 
— are yet sinful ; many sins which we consider wholly trifling 
{e.g.^ reviling), are grave; and many — e,g.^ unchastity — which 
custom has brought us to look on lightly, are dreadful, even 
though Church discipline itself has become lax in dealing with 
them (78-80). All sin springs either from ignorance or weak- 
ness. The latter is the more serious ; but divine grace alone 
aids us to overcome either (81). Unfortunately, from false 
weakness and shame, public penance is frequently withheld. 
Therefore God's mercy is not only necessary in the case of 
penitence, but also that men may resolve to show penitence. 
But he who disbelieves in and despises the forgiveness of 
sin in the Church commits the sin against the Holy Ghost 
(82, 83). 

The resurrection of the body is dealt with in §§ 84-113. 
First, the resurrection of abortions and monstrosities is dis- 
cussed (85-87) ; then the relation of the new body to its old 
material — every particle of which need not pass into the former ; 
and further, the corporeal difference, the stainlessness and 
spirituality of bodies in the future state (88-91). We must not 
concern ourselves with the constitution of the bodies of the lost 
who also rise again, although we are here confronted by the 

1 Augustine here says with great truth that love of our enemies is possible only to a 
small minprity (the perfect). But even those who do not attain it are heard if they 
utter the fifth petition in £uth. 


great paradox that a corruptible body does not die nor an 
incorruptible feel pain.^ (92). Those will have the mildest 
punishment who have only original, but not actual, sin. Dam- 
nation in general will be marked by degrees, depending in each 
case on the measure of sin (93). Augustine now comes to 
speak of predestination in detail (94-108): "no one is saved 
except by undeserved mercy, and no one is condemned except 
by a deserved judgment"* That is the theme. It will become 
manifest in eternal life why of two children the one is accepted 
out of mercy, and the other rejected in accordance with justice. 
God's refusal of salvation is not unjust, though all might have 
been saved if he had willed ; for nothing happens without his 
will or permission (95). Even in permitting evil his action is 
good, or the first article of the Symbol would no longer hold 
true (96X But if God's will cannot be frustrated by any choice 
of his creatures, how does the fact that all are not saved agree 
with the assurance that ''he wills that all should be saved" 
(i Tim. II. 4)? The usual answer, that men will not, is ob^ 
viously false; for they cannot hinder God's will, as he can 
certainly turn even the bad into a good will. Accordingly, God 
does not will that all be saved, but he justly sentences sinners 
to death (Rom. IX.), that he who receives salvation may boast 
in the Lord. God is free in his election to grace ; he would not 
have been to be blamed if he had redeemed no one after Adam's 
Fall ; so neither is he to be blamed if in his mercy he redeems 
only a few, that none may boast of his own merits, but in the 
Lord. God's will is expressed in the case of the lost as much 
as in that of the saved ("in the very deed by which they 
opposed his will, his will regarding them was done ").* So great 
are the works of the Lord that nothing that takes place against 
his will happens outside (praster) of it A good son wishes his 
father to live, but God, whose will is good, decides that he 
should die. Again, a bad son wishes his father to die, and God 

^ In hell " mors ipsA non moritur.** 

9'*NUi per indebitam misericordiam nemo liberatur et nisi per debitum judicium 
nemo damnatur.** 

***Hoc ipso qnod contra voluntatem fecerunt ejus, de ipsis facta est voluntas 



also wills this. The former wills what God does not ; the latter 
what he does. Yet the former stands nearer God ; for in the 
case of men it is the final intention that counts, while God 
accomplishes his good will even through the bad will of men. 
He is always just and always omnipotent (97-102). Therefore 
I Tim. II. 4 can only mean that God wills all classes of men to 
be saved, or that all those whom he resolves to save will be 
saved. In any case it is not to be imagined that he desires to 
save all, but is prevented (103). 

Had God foreknown that Adam, in keeping with his consti- 
tution, would have retained forever the will to avoid sin, he 
would have preserved him in his original state of salvation. 
But he knew the opposite, and therefore shaped his own will to 
effect good through him who did evil. For man must have 
been so created originally as to be able to do good and evil. 
Afterwards he will be changed, and will no longer be able to 
will evil ; " nor will he therefore be without free choice " (nee 
ideo libero carebit arbitrio) ; for free will still exists, even if a 
time comes when we cannot will evil, just as it even now exists, 
although we can never will our own damnation. Only the 
order of things had to be observed, first the " posse non," then 
the "non posse." But grace is always necessary, and would 
have been even if man had not sinned ; for he could only have 
attained the " non posse *' by the co-operation of grace. (Men 
can indeed starve voluntarily, but mere appetite will not keep 
them alive ; they require food,) But since sin entered, grace is 
much greater, because the will had itself to be freed in order 
that it might co-operate with grace (104-106.) Eternal life, 
though a reward of good works, is also a gift of grace, because our 
merits are God's gifts. God has made one vessel to honour and 
another to dishonour, that none should boast. The mediator 
who redeemed us required also to be God, " that the pride of 
man might be censured by the humility of God " (ut superbia 
humana per humilitatem dei argueretur), and that man might 
be shown how far he had departed from God, etc. (107, 108). 
After this long excursus, Augustine returns to § 93, and deals 
(109) with the intermediate state (in abditis receptaculis), and 
the mitigation obtained by departed souls through the Mass, 


and the alms of survivors in the Church ; for there are many 
souls not good enough to be able to dispense with this provi- 
sion, and not bad enough not to be benefited by it. " Where- 
fore here (on the earth) all merit is acquired by which anyone 
can be relieved or burdened after this life."^ What the Church 
does for the dead (pro defunctis commendandis) is not incon- 
sistent with Rom. XIV. 10 ; II. Cor. V. 10. For those who are 
wholly good it is a thanksgiving, for those not altogether bad 
an atonement, for those entirely wicked it is resultless, but 
gives comfort to the survivors ; nay, while it makes remission 
complete (plena), it renders damnation more tolerable (no). 
After the Judgment there are only two states, though there are 
different grades in them. We must believe in the eternal 
duration of the pains of hell, although we may perhaps suppose 
that from time to time God lightens the punishment of the lost, 
or permits some sort of mitigation. " Death will continue 
without end, just as the collective eternal life of all saints will 
continue" (111-113).* 

Following his programme, Augustine ought now to have 
discussed in detail hope and love (prayer) ; but he omits doing 
so, because he has really touched on everything already. He 
therefore confines himself to affirming that hope applies solely 
to what we pray for in the Lord's Prayer, that three petitions 
refer to eternal, four to temporal, benefits, and that Matthew 
and Luke do not really differ in their versions of the Prayer 
(114- 1 16). As regards love, he points out that it is the greatest 
of all. It, and not faith and hope, decides the measure of good- 
ness possessed by a man. Faith and hope can exist without 
love, but they are useless. The faith that works in love, /.^., the 
Holy Spirit by whom love is infused into our hearts, is all- 
important; for where love is wanting, fleshly lust reigns (117). 
There are four human conditions : life among the deepest 
shades of ignorance (altissimis ignorantiae tenebris), under the 
law (which produces knowledge and conscious sin), under grace 
or good hope, and under peace (in the world beyond). Such 

I Quocirca hie (in terra) omne meritum comparatur, quo possit post hanc vitam 
relevari quispiam vel gravari. 
* Manebit sine fine mors, sicut manebit communiter omnium vita sterna sanctorum. 


has also been the history of God's people ; but God has shown 
his grace even at the first and second stages (ii8), and thus 
even now man is laid hold of sometimes at the first, sometimes 
at the second, stage, all his sins being forgiven in his r^enera- 
tion Cii9)> so that death itself no longer harms him (120). All 
divine commands aim at love, and no good, if done from fear of 
punishment or any other motive than love, is done as it ought. 
All precepts (mandata) and counsels (consilia) given by God 
are comprised in the command to love God and our neighbour^ 
and they are only rightly performed when they spring, at 
present in faith, in the future in immediate knowledge, from 
love. In the world of sight each will know what he should love 
in the other. Even now desire abates as love increases, until it 
reaches the love that leads a man to give his life for another. 
But how great will love be in the future state, when there no 
longer exists any desire to be overcome ! 

No one can mistake the popular Catholic features of this 
system of religion. It is based on the ancient Symbol. The 
doctrines of the Trinity and the Two Natures are faithfully 
avowed. The importance of the Catholic Church is strictly 
guarded, and its relation to the heavenly Church, which is the 
proper object of faith, is left as indefinite as the current view 
required. Baptism is set in the foreground as the "grand 
mystery of renovation," and is derived from Christ's death, in 
which the devil has obtained his due. Faith is only regarded 
as a preliminary condition ; eternal life is only imparted to 
merits which are products of grace and freedom. They consist 
of works of love, which are summed up in almsgiving. Alms- 
giving is freely treated ; it constitutes penance. Within the 
Church forgiveness is to be had for all sins after baptism, if only 
a fitting satisfaction is furnished (satisfacere ecclesiae ; sattsfactio 
congrua). There is a scale of sins, from crimes to quite trivial 
daily offences. For this reason, wicked and good men are 
graded ; but even the best (sancti, perfecti) can only be sinless 
in the sense that they commit none but the lightest sins. The 

CHAP. IV.] the; new reugious system. *35 

saints are the perfect ascetics ; aisceticism is the culmination of 
love ; but all do not need to practise it ; we must distinguish 
between commands and counsels. In the future state both 
felicity and perdition will also be graded. Departed souls, if at 
death they have only left trivial sins unatoned for by penance, 
will be benefited by the masses, alms, and prayers of survivors. 
They are placed in a purgatory that cleanses them in the form 
of a decreed punishment^ If here popular Catholic elements 
are already strengthened, and the way prepiared for their future 
elaboration, that is equally true of the doctrines of the inter- 
mediate state, the temporary mitigation of the punishment of 
the lost, the help afforded by holy angels to the Church of the 
present world, the completion — by means of redeemed mortals 
— of the heavenly Church reduced in number through the Fall 
of the wicked angels, the virginity of Mary even in partu^ and 
the grace of Christ as being greater than Adam's sin. This 
also applies to the opinion that the ignorant adherence to a 
false religion is worse than the knowing utterance of a lie, and 
to many other doctrines developed by Augustine in other 
writings. Finally, the conception of salvation that holds it to 

1 The Enchiridion is not the only work in which Augustine has spoken of this ignit 

' The growing Marian dogma (see Vol. IV., p. 314) was thus strengthened rather 
than weakened by Augustine. He agreed entirely vdth Ambrose and Jerome 
(against Jovinian). By a woman came death, by a woman came life ; Mary's faith 
conceived the Saviour. Julian's remarkable objection to the doctrine of original sin, 
that it made Mary to be subject to the devil (nascendi condittone), Augustine met by 
saying (Op. imp. IV. 122): *'ipsa conditio nascendi solvitur gratia renascendi." 
We may not maintain it to be certain {f^et Schwane IL, p. 691 f.) that Augustine thus 
implicitly taught Mary's immaculate conception. On the other hand, he undoubt- 
edly held h^ to be without active sin ; see De nat et gr. 36 : " Excepta itaque s. 
virgine Maria, de qua propter bonorem domini nullam prorsus, cum de peccatis 
agitur, haberi volo qusestionem ; unde enim scimus, quid ei plus gratis collatum 
fiierit ad vincendum omni ex parte peccatum, qus concipere et parere meruit, quern 
constat nullum habuisse peccatum ? hac ergo virgine excepta si omnes illos sanctos 
et sanctas, cum hie viverent, congregare possimus et interrogare, utrum e«sent sine 
peccato, quid fiiisse responsoms putamus, utrum hoc quod ivta dicitan quod Johannes 
apostolus?" Gen. ad litt. X. 18-21. Augustine helped to give Mary a special posi- 
tion between Christ and Christians, simply because he firxt emphasised strongly the 
sinfulness of all men, even the saints, and then excepted Mary, Mary's passive 
leceptivity in relation to grace is emphasised with the same words as that of the man 


consist in " vision " and " fruition " is at the root of and runs 
through everything. Yet the most spiritual fact, the process of 
sanctification, is attached to mysteriously operating forces. 

But on the other hand, this system of religion is new. The 
old Symbol — the Apostles interpreted by the Nicene — v/sls 
supplemented by new material which could only be very loosely- 
combined with it, and which at the same time modified the 
original elements. In all three articles the treatment of sin^for^ 
giveness^ and perfecting in lave is the main matter (10-15 ; 25-33 J 
41-52; 64-83). Everything is presented as a spiritual process, 
to which the briefly discussed old dogmatic material appears 
subordinated. Therefore, also, the third article comes into the 
foreground ; a half of the whole book is devoted to the few- 
words contained in it. Even in the outline, novelty is shown : 
religion is so much a matter of the inner life that faith, hope, 
and love are all-important (3-8). No cosmology is given in the 
first article ; indeed, physical teaching is expressly denied to 
form part of dogmatics (9, 16 f.). Therefore any Logos doctrine 
is also wanting. The Trinity, taught by tradition as dogma, is 
apprehended in the strictest unity; // is the creator. It is 
really one person ; the " persons," as Augustine teaches us 
in other writings, are inner phases (moments) in the one God; 
they have no cosmological import. Thus the whole Trinity 
also created the man Christ in Mary's womb ; the Holy Ghost 
is only named because " spiritus " is also a term for " God's 
gift" (donum dei). Everything in religion relates to God as 
only source of all goody and to sin ; the latter is distinguished 
from error. Hereby a breach is made with ancient intellectual- 
ism, though a trace of it remains in the contention that errors 
are very small sins. Wherever sin is thought of, so is free, 
predestinating grace (gratia gratis data). The latter is con- 
trasted with the sin inherited from Adam ; it first gives freedom 
to the enslaved will. The exposition of the first article closes 
with the reference to prevenient and subsequent mercy. How 
different would have been the wording of this article if Augus- 
tine had been able to give an independent version ! 

The case is not different with the second article. The actual 
contents of the Symbol are only briefly touched on — the 


Second Advent is merely mentioned without a single Chiliastic 
observation. On the other hand, the following points of view 
come to the front On the one side we have the unity of 
Christ's personality as the man (homo) with whose soul the 
Word united itself, the predestinating grace, that introduced 
this man into personal unity with the Deity, although he 
f)ossessed no merits (hence the parallel with our regeneration) ; 
the close connection of Christ's death with redemption from the 
devil, atonement, and baptism (forgiveness of sins). But on 
the other side we find the view of Christ s appearance and history 
as loftiness in humility^ and as the pattern of the Christian life^ 
Christ's significance as redeemer^ is quite as strongly expressed 
for Augustine in this humility in splendour, and in his example 
of a Christian life (see S. Bernard and S. Francis), as in his 
death. He fluctuates between these two points of view. The 
Incarnation wholly recedes, or is set in a light entirely un- 
familiar to the Greeks. Thus the second article has been 
completely changed 

The chief and novel point in the third article consists in the 
freedom and assurance with which Augustine teaches that the 
forgiveness of sins in the Church is inexhaustible. When we 
consider the attitude of the ancient Church, Augustine, and 
Luther, to the sins of baptised Christians, an external criticism 
might lead us to say that men grow more and more lax, and 
that the increasing prominence given to grace (the religious 
factor) was merely a means of evading the strict demands made 
by the gospel on morality — the Christian life. And this view 
is also correct, if we look at the great mass of those who 
followed those guides. But in their own case their new ideas 
were produced by a profounder consciousness of sin, and an 
absorption in the magnitude of divine grace as taught by Paul. 
Augustine stands midway between the ancient Church and 
Luther. The question of personal assurance of salvation had 
not yet come home to him ; but the question : " How shall I 
> get rid of my sins, and be filled with divine energy?" took the 

1 Sin and original sin are again discussed in §§ 41-52, but they are now looked at 
from the standpoint of their removal through the baptism that emanates from Christ's 


first place with him. Following the popular Catholic view, he 
looked to good works (alms, prayer, asceticism); but he con- 
ceived them to be the product of grace and the will subject to 
grace ; further, he warned Christians against all external doing. 
As he set aside all ritualistic mysticism, so he was thoroughly 
aware that nothing was to be purchased by almsgiving pure 
and simple, but that the issue depended on an inner transforma- 
tion, a pure heart, and a new spirit At the same time he was 
sure that even after baptism the way of forgiveness was ever open 
to the penitent, and that he committed the sin against the Holy 
^Ghost who did not believe in this remission of sins in the Church, 
That is an entirely new interpretation of the Gospel saying. 
The concluding section of the Symbol (resurrectio carnis) is 
explained even more thoroughly than the forgiveness of sins in 
its third treatment in the third article. But after a short dis- 
cussion of the subject proper — the doctrine of predestination^ 
and a view which as doctrine is likewise virtually new, and 
takes the place of Origen's theory of Apokatastasis— the main 
theme is the supposition of an intermediate state, and of a 
cleansing of souls in it, to which the offerings and prayers of 
survivors can contribute. 

Piety : faith and love instead of fear and hope. Theory of 

1 The doctrine of predestination — before Augustine almost unheard of in the 
Catholic Church — constituted the power of his religious life, as Cbiliasm did that of 
the post-apostolic, and mysticism that of the Greek Church. In Augustine, 
in addition to its Biblical and Neoplatonic supports, the doctrine had indeed 
a strong religious root — free grace (gratia gratis data). But the latter by 
itself does not explain the importance which the doctrine had gained in his 
case. As everything that lives and works in nature is attached to something else, 
and is never found in an independent state, so, too, there is no distilled piety. 
On the contrary, so long as we men are men, precisely the most vital piety 
will be least isolated and free. None but the dogmatist can construct such a religion. 
But history teaches that all great religious personalities have connected their saving 
faith inextricably with convictions which to the reflecting mind appear to be irrelevant 
additions. In the history of Christianity there are the three named — Chiliasm, 
mysticism, and the doctrine of predestination. It is in the bark formed by these 
that faith has grown, just as it is not in the middle of the stem, but at its circum- 
ference, where stem and bark meet, that the sap of the plant flows. Strip the tree, 
and it will wither ! Therefore it is well-meant, but foolish, to suppose that Augus- 
tine would have done better to have given forth his teaching without the doctrine of 


religion : something higher than aught we call doctrine, a new 
life in the power of love. The doctrine of Scripture : the 
substance — the gospel, faith, love and hope — God. The Trinity : 
the one living God. Christology : the one mediator, the man 
Jesus into union with whose soul the Deity entered, without 
that soul having deserved it Redemption : death for the benefit 
of enemies and humility in greatness. The Sacraments: the 
Word side by side with the Symbols. Salvation (felicity) : the 
beata necessitas of ihegvod. The good: blessedness in dependence 
on God, History : God works everything in accordance with His 
good pleasure. With that compare the dogmatics of the 
Greeks ! ^ 

The extent and position of dogma were also modified by this 
revolution. The old dogmas of the undivided Church, simply 
because they passed into the background, and were no longer 
expressive of piety itself, became more rigid ; they more and 
more received the character of a legal system. The new dogmas, 
on the contrary, the doctrines of sin and grace in which piety 
lived, did not yet receive in their positive form the position and 
value of the old, nor were they definitely stated in rounded 
formulas.* Thus, through the instrumentality of Augustine, the 
extent and importance, in the history of dogma, of the doctrine 
of the Church became more uncertain. On the one hand, that 
doctrine was referred back to the gospel itself; on the other, it 
was much less sharply marked off than before from theology, 
since the new thoughts were not enclosed in fixed formulas. 
There was formed round the old dogma, which held its ground 
as an inflexible authority, a vast indefinite circle of doctrines, in 

1 An excellent comparison between Origen and Augustine occurs in Bigg, The 
Christian Pla^onists, pp. 284-290. He has sharply emphasised the inconsistencies in 
Augustine's doctrine of the primitive state, original sin, and grace, but he has not 
overlooked the advance made by Augustine on Origen. If we evolve Augustine's 
doctrine from predestination, then Bigg is right when he says : *' Augustine's system is 
in truth that of the Gnostics, the ancestors of the Manichees. For it makes no real 
difference whether our doom is stamped upon the nature given to us by our Creator, 
or fixed by an arbitrary decree." 

2 The resistance of the Pelagians and their associates was also a resistance to the 
formation of new dogmas in general. Exactly like the Eusebians in the Arian con- 
flict, they also fought against the new construction of dogmas by the North African 
Church on formal grounds. 



which the most important religious conceptions lived, and which 
yet no one was capable of examining and weaving into a fixed 
connection. That is the state of dogma in the Middle Ages. 
Side by side with the growing inflexibility ^ the process of internal 
dissolution had already begun. 

During the storms of the tribal migrations, just before the 
power of barbarianism broke in, God bestowed on the Church 
a man who judged spiritual things spiritually, and taught 
Christendom what constituted Christian piety. So far as we 
can judge, the young Germano-Roman peoples, like the Slavs, 
would have remained wholly incapable of ever appropriating 
independently and thoroughly the contemporary Christian re- 
ligion, the Church system transmitted to them as law and cultus 
in fixed formulas, they would never have pierced through the 
husk to the kernel, if along with that system they had not also 
received Augustine. It was from him, or rather from the Gospel 
and Paulinism under his guidance, that they derived the courage 
to reform the Church and the strength to reform themselves. 



We have already described in Vol. III. of our present work, as 
far as it bore on the history of dogma, the part taken by the 
West during this period in the Christological controversies of the 
East, the great impetus given to the papacy by the successors 
of Damasus, and further by Leo I. and his successors. We have 
shown how the papal power was in the sixth century embroiled, 
and (under Justinian) almost perished, in the East Gothic and 
Byzantine turmoils ; how the fifth Council produced a schism 
in the West, and shook the position of the papacy, and how on 
the other hand the latter regained and strengthened its import- 
ance through the instrumentality of Gregory I. ^* We also 

1 Gr^ory, certainly, had almost to abandon the fifth Conncil. 

s The papal power received its greatest accession of authority from the days of 
Damasus to the end of the fifth century : it was then settled that the primacy was to 
be a permanent institution of the Catholic Church. This accession of strength was 
partly due to the £act that in that century the Chair of St. Peter was occupied by a 
number of peculiarly capable, clever, and energetic Bishops. But the advance was 
caused to a still greater extent by external conditions. The most important may be 
mentioned here, (i) The dogmatic complications in the East gave the Popes an oppor- 
tunity of acting as umpires, or of exhibiting in full light the doctrinal correctness 
"characteristic of the Chair of St, Peter." (2) The V\^estem Roman Empire leant 
ultimately for support, in its decline, on the Roman Bishop (see the Ep. Valent. III. 
to Leo. I.) ; when it perished the latter was its natural heir, since the central political 
power in the West was gone, and the Byzantine Emperor had not the power, the 
leader of the German hosts not the prestige, necessary to restore it. (3) The storms 
of the tribal migration drove the Catholics of Western countries, which were seized by 
Arians, into the arms of Rome ; even where this did not happen at once, the opposi- 
tion ceased which had been previously offered to the claims of the Roman Bishop by 
the provinces, especially North Africa. (4) The patriarchal constitution never got 
established in the West, and the Metropolitan only succeeded in part ; thus the 
development into the papal constitution was ensured for the future. (5) The tran- 
sactions with the political power of Eastern Rome and the Imperial Bishop there now 

241 Q 


reviewed the important work, in which Vincentius of Lerinum 
standing on Augustine's shoulders, described the antiquitas 
catkoliccB fidei, i.e.y the Catholic conception of tradition.^ The 
whole West was agitated in our period by the storms of the 
tribal migrations. The ancient world received its final blow, 
and the Church itself, so far as it was composed of Romans, 
seemed to run wild under the horror and pressure of the times,* 
The young peoples which streamed in were Christian, but Arian. 
In the kingdom of the Franks alone there arose a Catholic, 
German nation, which began slowly to be fused with the ancient 
Roman population ; but the Church, with its cultus, law, and 
language, remained Latin : victus victori legem dat The Franks 
were at the outset in the Latin Church, as at the present day 
the Mongolian tribes of Finland are in the Greek Church of 
Russia. This Latin Church, which, however, had parted in 
Franconia with the Roman Bishop, or was only connected with 
him by respect for him, preserved its old interests in Gaul and 
Spain, and continued its former life until the end of the sixth 
century.^ Even up till that time the old civilisation had not 
wholly perished in it, but it was almost stifled by the barbarian- 
compelled the Roman Bi&hops, that they might not be at a disadvantage in dealing 
with Constantinople, to deduce their peculiar position, which they owed to the capital 
of the world, entirely from their spiritual (their apostolic or Petrine) dignity. Bat 
this exclusive basing of the Roman Chair on Peter afforded the firmest foundation 
at a time when all political force tottered or collapsed, but the religious was respected. 
Even the thought of political sovereignty, so far as such a thought could arise in the 
Roman Empire at all, seems to have dawned on Leo's successors. In any case, the 
position of the papacy was so secure at the close of the fifth century, that even the 
fiTghtful storms of the sixth century were unable to uprorit it. That in the West — 
outside of Rome — the theory of the Roman Bishop (following; Matt. XVI.) came but 
slowly to be recognised, and that the attempt was made to retain independence as far 
as the exigencies of the case permitted, ought to be expressly noticed. Theologians 
only admitted that the Roman Bishop represented ecclesiastical unity, and did not 
■assent to the papistical inference that it was the prerogative of Rome to govern the 

Vol. III., p. 230 ff. 

Saivian. de gubem. III. 44 : *' Ipsa ecclesia, quae in omnibus esse debet placatrix 
•dei, quid est aliud quam exacerbatrix dei ? aut praeter p)aucissimos quosdam, qui 
mala fuginnt, quid est aliud psene omnis coetus Christianorum quam sentina viti- 
Oram ? " 

' See Hatch, ** The Organisation of the Early Christian Churches," Lecture viiL, 
and " The Growth of Church Institutions," p. i f. 


ism, which resulted from fusion with the invading populace. In 
North Africa, in spite of dreadful sufferings, Catholic Latin 
ecclesiasticism held its ground till on into the seventh century. 
But the Church, once so independent in its relations with 
Rome, found itself compelled more than once in this period to 
turn for succour to Rome for its self-preservation. The posi- 
tion of Italy, Le., of the Roman Bishop, was wholly peculiar, for 
the Church of Middle and Lower Italy never played any part in 
Church history. So far as a Catholic Church still existed in the 
West in the German Empire, it represented the remnant of the 
shattered Western Roman Empire, and therefore lay in the 
sphere of power of the Roman Bishop, even if this relationship 
might not take any definite shape for the moment. But this 
Roman Bishop was himself fettered to the East, and political 
and ecclesiastical ties compelled him to look more to the East 
than the West. The fact that he nevertheless did not lose his 
connection with the latter, he, in the sixth century, owed more to 
his past, and his impregnable position in Rome, than to a deliber- 
ate policy.^ 

Under the Catholic Bishops who had survived in Gaul and 
North Africa as representatives of the Roman Empire, a not 
altogether unimportant part of the history of dogma was 
enacted in our period, vis.^ the fight for and against complete 
Augustinianism. The Roman Bishop, though much more con- 
cerned with the Christological and political questions of the 
East, intervened also in this matter. At the close of our period, 
when absolute darkness had settled on the West, the great 
monachist Pope and "father of superstitions" introduced the 
ecclesiastical world to the Middle Ages in the form required by 
uncivilised peoples. In doing so, he had not to do violence to 
his own convictions ; for the civilisation that was passing away 
inclined to barbarianism.^ 

1 The recognition in Rome of the fifth Council had almost alienated Italy and 
North Africa from the Pope. 

« Yet classical culture was never quite extinct in Italy (Rome). Its representatives 
in the sdxth century were Cassiodorus, the pious churchman, on the one hand, and 
Boethins, the latitudinarian, on the other. The former laboured earnestly on behalf 
of the Church and monachism of his time (compare also the exertions of Junilius) ; 
the latter was the instructor of a later age (see above, p. 34). 


We have only therefore to consider, in what follows, the con- 
flict waged round Augustinianism, and the position of Gregory 
.the Great in the history of dogma.^ 

^ On the history of the Apostolic Symbol in our period see my article in Herzog's 
R. E. 3 Ed. ; Caspari, Quellen I. -IV. Vols. ; v. Zezschwitz, System der Katecfaetik 
II. I. Of the additions made to the ancient Roman Symbol, and afterwards univer- 
sally accepted, the only one important dogmatically is the phrase '* communio sanc- 
torum." It can be proved from the second homily of Faustus of Rhegium (Caspari, 
Kirchenhist. Anekdota, p. 338), and his Tractat de symbolo, which he certainly did 
not edit himself (Caspari, Quellen IV., p. 250 ff.), that South Gallican Churches had 
the words " communio sanctorum *' in the Apostolicum in the second half of the fifth 
century. It is debatable whether they already stood in the Symbol of Nicetas, whom 
I identify with Nicetas of Romatiana — the friend of Paulinus of Nola ; they may also 
have merely belonged to the ex|.x)sition, which was strongly influenced by CyriFs 
Catechisms (see Kattenhusch, Apost. Symbolum, 1894, Vol. I). If it were certain 
that they were merely meant in the Gallican Symbol to stand in exegetical apposition 
to " sancta ecclesia," then we would have to suppose that that S3rmbol had been 
influenced by the countless passages in which Augustine describes the Church as 
communio sanctorum^ i.e., of the angels and all the elect, inclusive of the simple 
j'usti (or with synonymous terms). But, firstly, one does not conceive how a mere 
exegetical apposition should have got into the Symbol, and why that should have 
nappened particularly in Gaul ; secondly, the explanation of the words by F.tustus 
points in another direction. We read in his second homily : '* Credamus et sanc- 
torum communionem, sed sanctos non tarn pro dei parte, quam pro dei honore 
veneremur. Non sunt sancti pars illius, sed ipse probatur pars esse sanctorum. 
Quare ? quia, quod sunt, de illuminatione et de similitudineejus accipiunt ; in Sanctis 
autem non res dei, sed pars dei est. Quicquid enim de deo participant, divince e>t 
gratiae, non naturae. Colamus in Sanctis timorem et amorem dei, non divinitatem dei, 
colamus merita, non quae de proprio habent, sed quae accipere pro devotione 
meruerunt. Digne itaque venerandi sunt, duni nobis dei cultum et futurae vit» 
desiderium contemptu mortis insinuant.^' And still more clearly in the Tractate (p. 
273 f.): ". . . transeamus ad sanctorum communionem. lUos hie sententia ista 
confandit, qui sanctorum et amicorum dei cineres non in honore debere esse blas- 
phemant, qui beatoruni martyrum glorio^am memoriam sacrorum reverentia monu- 
mentorum colendam esse non credunt. In symbolum prcevaricati sunt, et Christo in 
fonte mentiti sunt." Faustus accordingly understand.s by the "sancti" not all the 
jusii, but — as Augustine not infrequently does — the specifically •• holy," and he con- 
tends that the words aimed at the followers of Vigilantius who rejected the worship 
of the saints. In that case " communio sanctorum " means communion of or with 
the specifically '* holy." It is still matter of dispute >*hether this is really the idea to 
which the Apostolicum owes iis questionable acquisition, or whether the latter is 
only a very early artificial explanation. On the " filioque" in the Constantinopolitan 
Creed, see Vol. IV., p. 126 f. 


I. The Conflict between Semi-Pelagianism and Augustinianism. 

Augustine and the North-African Church had succeeded in 
getting Pelagianism condemned ; but this did not by any 
means involve the acceptance of Augustinianism in the Church. 
Augustine's authority, indeed, was very great everywhere, and 
in many circles he was enthusiastically venerated ;^ but his 
doctrine of gratia irresistibilis (absolute predestination) met 
with opposition, both because it was new and unheard of,* and 
because it ran counter, not only to prevalent conceptions, but 
also to clear passages of Holy Scripture. The fight against it 
was not only a fight waged by the old conception of the Church 
against a new one — for Setni-Pelagianisnt was the ancient doctrine 
of Tertullian^ Ambrose^ and ferome — but the old gospel was also 
defended against novel teaching ; for Semi-Pelagianism was 
also an evangelical protest^ which grew up on Augustinian piety ^ 
against a conception of the same Augustine that was intolerable as 
doctrine,^ Accordingly, it is not strange that " Semi-Pelagian- 
ism " raised its head in spite of the overthrow of Pelagianism ; 
rather it is strange that it was ultimately compelled to submit to 
Augustinianism. This submission was never indeed perfectly 
honest. On the other hand, there lurked an element of " Semi- 
Pelagianism " in Augustinianism itself, viz.y in the doctrines of 
the primitive state, of righteousness — as the product of grace 

* See the Ep. Prosperi ad Aug. [225]. Here Augustine is called " ineffabiliter 
mirabilis, incompazabiiiter honorandus, prsestantissimus patronus, columna veritatis 
ubique gentium conspicua, specialis Bdei patronus." 

^ See Vincentius' Commonitorium. 

> Semi-Pelagianism also rests undoubtedly on Augustinian conceptions. Loofs 
designation of it as "popular Anti-Pelagian Catholicism " is perfectly just (see Theol. 
Lit. Ztg. 1895, Col 568, against Krttger, I.e. Col. 368). •* Semi-Pelagianism'* is a 
malicious heretical term. The literary leaders of this doctrine were in no respect 
influenced, so far as I see, by Pelagius, nor did they learn anything from him ; on 
the contrary, they take their stand — the later the more plainly (but not more 
Augustinian )^K>n doctrines of Augustine, and it is impossible to understand them 
apart from his teaching. *' Semi-Pelagianism " is popular Catholicism made more 
definite and profound by Augustine's doctrines. The Semi- Pelagians are accordingly 
the Eusebians of the doctrine of grace. See also Sublet, Le Semi-P^Iagianisme des 
Origines. Namur, 1897. 


and the will — and of merits. When Augustinianism triumphed, 
these points necessarily came to the front. But a situation was 
thus created that was wholly insecure, capable of various inter- 
pretations, and untrue in itself. 

Augustine himself found by experience that his doctrine of 
grace produced internal disturbances among the monks at 
Hadrumetum. Free-will was done with ; men could fold their 
hands ; good works were superfluous ; even at the Last Judg- 
ment they were not taken into account. Augustine sought to 
appease them by his treatise, De gratia et lib. arbitrio, and he 
followed this with his work, De correptione et gratia, when he 
heard that doubts had risen whether the erring and sinful 
should still be reprimanded, or if their case was sufficiently met 
by intercession. Augustine strove in these writings to remove 
the misunderstandings of the monks, but he formulated his 
doctrine of grace more sharply than ever, trying, however, to 
retain free choice and the popular Catholic view. A year or 
two afterwards (428-9) he was informed by his devoted friends^ 
Prosper, Tyro, ^ and Hilary^ (Epp. 225, 226,), that at Marseilles 
and other places in France there was an unwillingness to admit 
the strict doctrine of predestination, and the view that the will 
was completely impotent,' because they paralysed Christian 
preaching. Augustine replied, confirming his friends, but giv- 
ing new offence to his opponents by his two writings, De prae- 
destinatione sanctorum and De dono perseverantiae. He died 
soon afterwards, bequeathing his mantle to disciples whose 
fidelity and steadfastness had to atone for their want of inde- 
pendence. The Gallican monks (" servi dei ") now advanced to 
open opposition.* It is quite intelligible that monks, and 
Greek-trained monks, should have first entered the lists. 
Among them the most prominent were Johannes Cassianus, 

1 On him see Worter's Progr., Freiburg, 1867, and Hauck in the R. E. 

* Not to be confounded with Hilary of Aries, the Semi- Pelagian. 
' The opposition was at first cautious. 

* An accurate description of the controversy has been given by Wiggers in the 2nd 
vol. of his " Fragmatische Darstellung des Augustinismus und Pela^ianismns 
(1833) ; see also Luthardt, Die L. v. fr. Willen (1863). The later development 
from Gregory I. to Gottschalk is described by Wiggers in the Ztsch. f. d. hist. 
Theol, 1854-55.57-59. 


father of South Gallican monachism' and disciple of Chrysos- 
tom and Vincentius of Lerinum.- The former has especially 
formulated his standpoint in the 13th Conference of his " coUa- 
tiones patrum," which bears the title " De protectione dei."* 
He takes objection above all to absolute predestination, the 
particularism of grace, and the complete bondage of the will. 
His teaching as to grace and liberty is as follows. 

God's grace is the foundation of our salvation ; every begin- 
ning is to be traced to it, in so far as it brings the chance of sal- 
vation and the possibility of being saved. But that is external 
grace ; inner grace is that which lays hold of a man, enlightens, 
chastens, and sanctifies him, and penetrates his will as well as 
his intelligence. Human virtue can neither grow nor be per- 
fected without this grace — therefore the virtues of the heathens 
are very small.* But the beginnings of the good resolve, good 
thoughts, and faith — understood as the' preparation for grace — 
can be due to ourselves. Hence grace is absolutely necessary 
in order to reach final salvation (perfection), but not so much so 
in order to make a start. It accompanies us at all stages of 
our inner growth, and our exertions are of no avail without it 
(libero arbitrio semper co-operatur) ; but it only supports and 
accompanies him who really strives, " who reaches forward to 
the mark." Yet at times God anticipates the decision of men, 
and first renders them willing — e.g., at the call of Matthew and 
Paul ; but even this — rare — action of grace is not irresistible. 
Free-will is never destroyed by God — that we must hold, even 
if we admit the incomprehensibleness of divine grace. Simi- 
larly, we must hold firmly to the conviction that God wills ear- 
nestly the salvation of all, and that therefore Christ's redemption 
applies not only to the small number of elect, but to all men. 

1 See De coenobioram institatis 1. XII. Cf. Hoch, L.d. Johannes Cass. v. Natar 
n. Gnade, 1895 (besides Krtiger, Tbeol. Lit.-Ztg. 1895, Col. 368 ff). 

* The Coinmonitorium is directed exclusively a^^ainst Augustine. The fact that it 
has reached us only in a mutilated form is explained, indeed, by its opposition to him. 
Apart from it, Prosper has preserved for us Vincentius' objections to Augustine. 

< He speaks still more frankly and therefore " more like a Pelagian " in the Insti- 

^ Here Cassian has learned thoroughly Augustine's teaching, and we see that he 
not only accommodated himself to it, but had been convinced by it. 


The contrary doctrine involved "a huge blasphemy" (ingens 
sacrilegium). Predestination can therefore be only grounded 
on prescience — and the proposition that it was foreknown what 
anything would have been, if it had been at all, had at that time 
arisen in connection with the question of those dying in in- 
fancy.^ But Cassian has hardly given an opinion on the relation 
of prescience and predestination. Regarding the primitive 
state, he taught that it was one of immortality, wisdom, and 
perfect freedom. Adam and Eve's Fall had entailed corruption 
and inevitable sinfulness on the whole race. But with a free, 
though a weakened, will, there also remained a certain ability 
to turn to the good.* 

1 Some maintained, namely, that the fate of these children was decided by how 
they would have acted if they had lived ; for that was known to God. 

s Statements by Cassian. (Coll. XIII. 3) : *' non solum actuum, venim etiam cc^. 
tationum bonarum ex deo esse principium, qui nobis et initia sanct«3 voluntatis in- 
spirat et virtutem atque opportunitatem eorum que lecie cupimus tribuit peiagtndi 
. . . deus indpit que bona sunt et exsequitur et consummat in nobis, nostrum vero 
est, ut cotidie adtrahentem nos gratiam dei humiliter subsequamur." 5 : ** gentiles 
verse castitatis (andthatis thevirtue «rar* ^^o^i^y) virtutem non agnoverunt." 6 : "acmper 
auxiliodei homines indigere tiecaliquid humanam fragilitatem quod ad salutem pertinet 
per se solam i.e., sine adiutorio dei posse perficere." 7 : '*propositum dei, quo non oh 
hoc hominem fecerat, ut periret, sed ut in perpetuum viveret, manet immobile, cuius 
beni(;nitas cum bonas voluntatis in nobis quantulaincunque sdntillam emicuisse per- 
irpexertt vel quam ipse tamquam de dura silice nostri cordis excuderit, confovet earn 
et exsuscitat et conft^rtat . . . qui enim ut pereat unus ex pu<itlis non habei volun- 
tatem, quomodo sine ingenti sacrilegio putandus est non universaliter omnes, sed 
quosdam salvos fieri velle pro omnibus ? ergo quicumque pereunt, contra illius pereunt 
voluntatem . . . deus mortem non fecit" 8: "tanta est erga creaturam suaxn 
pietas creatoris, ut non solum comitetur eam, sed etiam prsacedit iugiter providemia, 
qui cum in nobis ortum quondam bone voluntatis inspexerit, inluminat eam confestim 
atque confortat et incitat ad salutem, incrementum tribuens ei quam vel ipse plantavit- 
vel nostro conatu viderit emersisse." 9 : *' non facile humana ratione discemitur 
quemadmodum dominus petentibus tribuat, a quaerentibus inveniatur et rursus invenl* 
atur a non quxrentibus se et palam adpareat inter illos, qui eum non interrogabant." 
10 ; " lihertatem scriptura divina nostri confirmat arbitrii sed et infimiitatem. " 11: 
** ita sunt h^ec quodammodo indis^crete permixta atque confusa, ut quid ex quo pendeat 
inter multos magna qusestione volvatur, i.e., utrum quia initium bons voluntatis 
prsebuerimus misereatur nostri deus, an quia deus misereatur consequamnr bonse vol- 
untatis initium (in the former case Zacchaeus, in the latter Paul and Matthew are 
named as examples).'* 12 : '* nun enim talum deus hominem fecisse credendus est 
qui nee vel it umquam nee pos<:it bonum . . . cavendum nobis est, ne ita ad domin' 
ium omnia sanctorum merita referamu^, ut nihil nisi id quod malum atque perversum 
est liumanceadscribamus natura: . . . dubitari non potest, inesse quidem omni animse 


It is usual to condemn " Semi-Pelagianism." But absolute 
condemnation is unjust. If a universal theory is to be set up, in 
the form of a doctrine^ of the relation of God to mankind (as object 
of his will to save\ then it can only be stated in terms of'^ Semi- 
Pelagianism " or Cassianism, Cassian did not pledge himself to 
explain everything ; he knew very well that " God s judgments 
are incomprehensible and his ways inscrutable." Therefore he 
rightly declined to enter into the question of predestination. 
In refusing, however, to probe the mystery to the bottom, he 
demanded that so far as we affirmed anything on the subject, 
we should not prejudice the universality of grace and the ac- 
countability of man, i.e., his free-will. That was an evangelical 
and correct conception. But as Augustine erred in elevating the 
necessary self criticism of the advanced Christian into a doctrine^ 
which should form the sole standard by which to judge the whole 
Sphere of Gods dealings with men, so Cassian erred in not sepa- 
rating his legitimate theory from the ride by which the individual 
Christian ought to regard his own religious state. He thus 
opened the door to self-righteousness, because from fear of 
fatalism he would not bluntly say to himself and those whose 
spiritual guide he was, that the faith which does not know that 
it is produced by God is still entangled in the life of self ^ 

Prosper, himself an ascetic and a frequenter of the famous 
cloisters of Provence, had already attacked his friends as 
Troubadour of Augustinianism during the lifetime of Augustine 
(Carmen de ingratis, see also the Ep. ad Rufinum). Now, after 
430, he wrote several works in which he defended Augustine, 
and also himself, against charges that had been brought against 
Augustinianism.' He did not succeed in convincing the monks ; 

naturaliter virtu turn semina beneficio creatoris inset ta, sed nisi hrec opttulatione dei 
fuerint exdtata, ad increinentum perfectionis non potuenint pervenire.'' 

> Semi-Pelagianism is no " half truth." It is wholly correct as a theory, if any 
theory is to be set up, but it is wholly false if taken tu express our self-judgment in 
the presence of God. 

s Pro Augustino responsiones ad capitula objectionum Gallorum calumniantium 
(against the Gallican monks) ; Responsiones pro Augustino ad excerpta qu» d<2 
Genuensi dvitate sunt missa (against Semi- Pelagian piiests who desired aufkldrung) ; 
Responsiones pro Augustino ad capitula objectionum Vincent iarium (here we have the 
most acute attacks by opponents). The "Gari** adhered to Cassian, though he 


for his admission that Augustine spoke too harshly (" durius ") 
when he said that God did not will that all men should be 
saved,' did not satisfy, and their scruples were not even removed 
by his contention that there was only one predestination (to 
salvation), that we must distinguish between this and prescience 
(as regards the reprobatt), and in doing so be certain that God's 
action was not determined by caprice, but by justice and holi- 
ness.2 He did, however, succeed in getting Pope Celestine 
to send a letter to the Gallican monks, supporting Augustine 
and blaming the opposition for presumption. The Pope was, 
however, very reserved in dealing with the matter in question, 
although he stated strongly the activity of grace as prevenient* 
Prosper now wrote (432) his chief work against the 13th 
Collatio of Cassian, in which he showed more controversial skill, 
convicted his opponent of inconsistencies, and stated his ow^n 
standpoint in a more cautious form, but without any concession 
in substance. He left Gaul, and took no further part in the dis- 
pute, but showed in his " Sentences " and " Epigrams " that as a 
theologian he continued to depend on Augustine alone.* 

Another Augustinian, unknown to us, author of the work, 
De vocatione omnium gentium,* sought to do justice to the 

hardly mentions original sin, while they taught it, and he does not speak so definitely 
as they about predesitination. 

1 Sentent. sup. VIII. on the respons. ad capp. Gallonim. 

^ Even Augustine, in addition to expressin;; himself in a way that suggests the two- 
fold doctrine of predestination, said (De dono persev. 14) : '* Htec est prsedestinatio 
sanctorum nihil aliud : prsescientia scil. prseparatio beneficiorum dei quibus certissime 
liberantur, quicunque liberantur." Pro!%per takes his stand on this language (see 
resp. ad excerpt. Genuens. VIII.) : *' We confess with pious faith that God has foxe- 
known absolutely to whom he should grant faith, or what men he should give to his 
Son, that he might lose none of them ; we confess that, foreknowing this, he also 
foresaw the favours by which he vouchsafes to free us, and that predestination consists 
in the foreknowledge and preparation of the [divine grace by which men are most 
certainly redeemed." The reprobate accordingly are not embraced by predestination, 
but they are damned, because God has foreseen their sins. In this, accordingly, pre- 
science is alone at work, as also in the case of the regenerate, who fall away again. 
But prescience compels no one to sin. 

' Caelest. ep. 21. The appendix was added later, but it perhaps was by Prosper. 

* Gennadius relates (De script, eccl. 85) that Prosper dictated the famous letters of 
Leo I. against Eutyches. But he gives this as a mere rumour. 

'^ Included among the works of Prosper and Leo I. 


opposition by undertaking to combine the doctrine of the 
exclusive efficacy of divine grace with the other that God willed 
that all men should be saved. His intention proves that even 
among Augustine's admirers offence was taken at his principle 
of the particularism of God's purpose to save. But the laudable 
endeavour to combine the truth of Augustinianism with a uni- 
versalist doctrine could not but fail. For all the author's dis- 
tinctions between universal grace (creation and history) and 
special (Christ), and between the sensual, animal, and spiritual 
will (voluntas sensualis, animalis, spiritalis), as well as his asser- 
tions that grace, while preparing the will, does not supersede it, 
and that God desires the salvation of all, could not remove the real 
causes of offence (the damnation of children who died unbap- 
tised, and reprobation in general) since Augustinianism was to 
be strictly upheld.^ The work was at all events written with 
the honourable intention of removing doubts and establishing 
peace. On the other hand, attempts had been made on the 
Semi-Pelagian side from the first to make Augustinianism im- 
possible, by an unsparing exposure of its real and supposed 
consequences, and these efforts culminated (about 450 ?) in the 
notorious " Praedestinatus " first discovered in A.D. 1643. The 
mystery that overhangs this work has not yet been fully solved ; 
but it is probable that the writing of a predestinationist, intro- 
duced into Book II., and refuted, from the standpoint of Semi- 
Pelagianism, in Book III., is a forgery. For Augustine's 
teaching is unfolded in it entirely in paradoxical, pernicious, and 
almost blasphemous propositions, such as no Augustinian ever 
produced.^ (We have both kinds of predestination strictly 
carried out : " those whom God has once predestined will, 
even if they neglect, sin, or refuse, be brought unwillingly to 
life, while those whom he has predestined to death labour in 

1 A minute analysis of the work is given by Wiggers, II. p. 218 ff, and Thoraasius. 
I. pp. 563-570. It is to be admitted that the work marks an advance by its desire to 
admit the universality of God's purpose of salvation. But the doctrine of the uni- 
versUas specialis is only a play on words, if universitas docs not here mean more than 
witli Augustine and Prosper, namely, that men of all nations and periods will be 

» See Wiggers, II., pp. 329-350. 


vain, even if they run or hasten)." ^ And the contention that 
the "sect of the predestinationists "* covers itself with Augus- 
tine's name, like the wolf in sheep's clothing, is a bold, contro- 
versial trick of fence. 

Of the effects produced by this venomous writing nothing is 
known ; on the other hand, we do know that Semi-Pelagianism 
continued to exist undisturbed in Southern Gaul, 3 and, indeed, 
found its most distinguished defender in Faustus of Rhegium 
(died shortly before 500), formerly Abbot at Lerinum.* This 
amiable and charitable Bishop, highly respected in spite of 
many peculiar theories, took an active part in all the contro- 
versies and literary labours of his time. He was the forerunner 
of Gregory I. in establishing, from the Episcopal Chair, monas- 
tic Christianity in the Gallican communities. He had entered 
the lists against Pelagius (" pestifer "), and he now fought as 
decidedly against the tenet of the extinction of free-will and 
the doctrine of predestination, which he declared to be errone- 
ous, blasphemous, heathen, fatalistic, and conducive to immo- 
rality. The occasion was furnished by Lucid us, a Presbyter of 
Augustinian views, who made an uncompromising statement of 
the doctrine of predestination. He recanted formally after the 
** error pra^destinationis " had been condemned at a Synod at 
Aries (47s), with the assistance, if not on the instigation, of 
Faustus.^ After this Synod, and a second at Lyons, Faustus 

1 " Quos deus semel prsedestinavit ad vitam, etiamsi negligant, etiamsi peccent, 
etiamsi nolint, ad vitam perducentur inviti, quos autem prsedestinavit ad morteoi, 
etiamsi currant, etiamsi festinent, sine causa laborant." 

3 Of any such sect absolutely nothing is known. There is no original authority to 
show that there actually existed *' libertines of grace,*' i.^., Augustinians who, under 
cover of the doctrine of predestination, gave themselves up to unbridled sin. The 
Semi- Pelagians would nochave suffered such " Augustinians " to escape them in their 
polemics. There may have arisen isolated ultra- Augustinians like Lucidus, but they 
were not libertines. 

' North Africa was removed from theological disputes by the dreadful invasion of 
the Vandals. The majority there were certainly Augustinians, yet doubts and op- 
position were not wanting ; see Aug. £p. 217 ad Vitalem. 

* See Tillemont, Vol. XVI., and Wiggers, II. 224-329 ; Koch, Dcr h. Faustas von 
Riez, 1895 (farther, Loofs, Theol. Lit.-Ztg. 1895, Col. 567 ff.). 

' See Mansi VIL, where we have also (p. loio) Lucidus' recantation in a Libellus 
ad episcopos. Even before the Synod FaostU!* had an interview with his friend, and 


composed his work, De gratia dei et humanae mentis libero 
arbitrio, lib. II., meant to explain the dogmatic attitude of the 
Synods — against Pelagius and predestination.^ Grace and 
freedom are parallel ; it is certain that man, since Adam's Fall, 
is externally and internally corrupt, that original sin and death 
as the result of sin reign over him, and that he is thus incapable 
of attaining salvation by his own strength ; but it is as certain 
that man can still obey or resist grace. God wills the salvation 
of all ; all need grace ; but grace reckons on the will which 
remains, though weakened; it always co-operates with the 
latter ; otherwise the effort of human obedience (labor humanae 
obedientiae)* would be in vain. Original sin and free-will, in its 
infirm, weakened state (infirmatum, attenuatum), are not 
mutually exclusive. But those who ascribe everything to grace 
fall into heathen and blasphemous follies.* Our being saved is 
God's gift ; it does not rest, however, on an absolute predestina- 
tion, but God's predetermination depends on the use man makes 
of the liberty still left him, and in virtue of which he can amend 
himself (prescience). Faustus no longer shows himself to be so 
strongly influenced by Augustine's thoughts as Cassian,* al- 
though, as a theologian, he owes more to him than the latter 
does. He is " more of a monk." Faith also is a work and a 

he wrote a doctrinal letter lo him (VII. 1007 sq.) which, however, was equally un- 

^ Further, the Professio fidei (to Leontius) contra eos, qui dum per solam dei 
voluntatem alios dicunt ad vitam attrahi, alios in mortem deprimi, hinc fatum cum 
gentilibus asserunt, inde libenim arbitrium cum Manichseis negant. 

> "Obedientia" plays the chief part with Faustus next to castitas. In this the 
medieval monk announces himself. 

' Faustus took good care not to contend against Augustine ; he only opposed 
Augustinianism. This is true of the Catholic Churcli at the present day. 

* Yet he expressed himself very strongly as to original sin, and even taught 
Traducianism. As with Augustine, pro-creation is the means of transmitting original 
sin, which rises ** per incentivum maledictae genenitionis ardorem et per inlecebro«um 
utriusque parentis amplexum." Since Christ was alone free from this heritable infec- 
tion, because he was not bom of sexual intercourse, we must acknowledge the 
pleasure of intercourse and vice of sensuality to be the origin of the malum originate. 
We readily see that everything in Augustinianism met with applause that depreciated 
marriage. And these monks crossed themselves at the thought of Manichieism ! 


human achievement ;' ascetic performances are in general 
brought still more to the front by him, and the possibility of 
grace preceding the movement of the will towards good is 
understood to mean that salvation is first offered to a man 
from without by means of preaching, law, and reproof. (In this 
sense Faustus is even of opinion that the beginning is always 
the work of grace.) The most questionable (Pelagian) feature, 
however, consists in Faustus giving a very subordinate place to 
internal grace — the adjutorium essentially means for him ex- 
ternal aid in the form of law and doctrine — and that he clearly 
returns to the Pelagian conception of nature as the original 
(universal) grace [gratia prima (universalis)]. It is manifest, on 
the other hand, that he sought to lead precisely ascetics to 
humility ; even where they increase their own merits they are 
to remember that " whatever we are is of God," (dei est omne 
quod sumus), i>., that perfect virtue is impossible without grace.' 
We see when we look closely that Faustus already distinctly 
preached implicitly the later doctrine of meritum de congruo et 
de condigno^ In faith as knowledge, and in the exertions of the 
will to amend ourselves, we have a merit supported by the first 
grace (gratia prima); to it is imparted redeeming grace, and 
the latter now co-operates with the will in producing perfect 

In his own time Faustus hardly met with an opponent, not to 
5peak of one his equal.* But in Rome Augustine was held in 

1 Faustus even supposes that fides remained as the knowledge of God after the 

See lib. II. 4. On the other hand, Abel, Enoch, etc., were saved by the fii-st 
grace, the law of nature, II. 6, 7. Since Enoch preceded the rest, in that so early 
age, by the merit of faith (fidei merito), he showed that faith had been transmitted to 
him with the law of nature ; see also II. 8 (•* et ex gentibus fuisse salvatos," 7). 

* Wiggers calls attention (p. 328) to Faustus' principle, important for the sake of 
later considerations in the Church : *' Christus plus dedit quam totus mundus vale- 
bat " (De grat. et lib. arb. 16). 

* The most distinguished writers of the age held similar views, e.g,^ Amobius the 
younger, Gcnnadius of Marseilles, Ennodius of Ticinum. Augustine's own authority 
was already wavering ; for Gennadius permitted himself to write of him (De script 
eccl. 39) : ** unde ex multa eloquentia accidit, quod dixit per Salomonem spiritus 
sanctus : ex multiloquio non efFugies peccatum " and " error tamen illius sermone 
multo, ut dixi, contractus, lucta hostium exaggeratos necdum hsresis qusestionem 


high honour, without anyone, certainly, saying how far he was 
prepared to go with him, and doctrines which directly contra- 
dicted him were not tolerated. If we may ascribe the decree, 
De libris recipiendis et non recipiendis, to Gelasius, then that 
Pope, who is also proved by other facts to have been a strong 
opponent of Pelagianism, declared Augustine and Prosper's 
writings to be in harmony with the Church, but those of Cassian 
and Faustus " apocryphal." But the course of affairs in Rome 
at the beginning of the sixth century makes the ascription of 
this decree to Gelasius — in its present form — improbable. That 
is, as Pelagianism had formerly amalgamated with Nestorianism, 
to which it gravitated, and had thus sealed its doom, so Semi- 
Pelagianism did not escape the fate of being dragged into the 
Christological controversy, and of being assailed by the dislike 
which orthodoxy influenced by Monophysitism cherished against 
all " that was human." Those Scythian monks in Constanti- 
nople, who wished to force Theopaschitism on the Church,' 
handed to the Legate of Pope Hormisdas a Confession of faith, 
in which they opposed the remains of Nestorianism as well as 
the doctrine that grace did not effect the act of will and its 
accomplishment (519).* Dismissed by the Legate, they brought 
their view in person before the Pope, and sent a report to the 
banished North African Bishops, who were residing in Sardinia, 
and among whom the most important was Fulgentius of Ruspe, 
a practised disputant against Arianism, and a faithful adherent 
of Augustine. The report of the Scythians, which discussed 
Christology as well as the doctrine of grace, and quoted in sup- 
port of the latter — in its Augustinian form — Eastern and West- 
ern authorities, closes with the words: ** We hold it necessary 

absolvit'' Many MSS. have suppressed these passages ! We find it said of Prosper 
(c. 85) that in his work against Cassian he **quffi ecclesia dei salutaria probat, in- 
famat nociva." Cassian and Faustus are highly prnised. — As sources for Semi-Pela- 
gianism there fall further to be considered the homilies, oidy in part by Faustus, 
which are printed in the Max. Bibl. Lugd. T. VI., pp. 619-686 ; see on them Caspari, 
Briefe, Abhandlungen u. Predigten (1890) p. 4x8 ff. 

1 See Vol. IV., p. 231. 

' These " Scythians " were well versed in Western thought, their leader, Maxen- 
tius, who wrote in Latin, belonged himself to the West. In the Confession of faith 
they treat of grace, " non qua creamur, sed qua recreamur et renovamur." Pelagius, 
Caelestius, and Theodore of Mopsuestia are grouped together. 


to add this ; not as if you did not know it, but we have con- 
sidered it useful to insert it in our short paper, in order to refute 
the folly of those who reject it as containing tenets novel and 
entirely unheard of in the churches. Instructed in the teaching 
of all these holy Fathers, we condemn Pelagius, Ca^lesttus, 
Julian, and those of a similar type of thought, especially the 
books of Faustus of the cloister of Lerinunty which there is no 
doubt were written against the doctrine of predestination. In 
these he attacks the tradition not only of these holy Fathers, but 
also of the Apostle himself, annexing the support of grace to 
, human effort, and, while doing away with the whole grace of 
Christ, avowing impiously that the ancient saints were not 
saved, as the most holy Apostle Peter teaches, by the same 
grace as we are, but by natural capacity." 

The North Africans assented to this, and Fulgentius in reply 
wrote his work, De incarnatione et gratia, in which, as in earlier 
writings, he defended the Augustinian standpoint, and especially 
derived original sin from the lust of sexual intercourse. Free- 
will in the state of sin was wickedly free (male liberum), and 
Christ's grace was to be sharply distinguished from grace in 
creation (gratia creans) [c. 12]; the act of willing is not ours, 
and assistance God's, business, but ** it is the part of God's grace 
to aid, that it may be mine to will, believe " (a 16 : gratise dei 
est adjuvare, ut sit meum velle credere). Rom. 11. 14, is to be 
applied to the Gentiles justified by faith (c. 25) ; and the par- 
ticularism of grace is also maintained.* The Scythians left 
Rome, leaving behind them an anathema on Nestorians, Pela- 
gians, and all akin to them. The celebrated name of Faustus 
appeared in a bad light, and Possessor, an exiled African 
Bishop who lived in Constantinople, hastened to recommend 
himself to the Pope by the submissive query, What view was 
now to be taken of P'austus? assuring him at the same time that 
distinguished State officials equally desired enlightenment.* 
Hormisdas gave a reserved answer (Aug. 520). The Scythian 
monks were branded as vile disturbers of orthodoxy ; Faustus 

1 See Wiggers II., pp. 369-4 9. According to Fulgentius, even Mary's conception 
was stained, and therefore not free from original sin, see c. 6. 
3 All these transactions in Mansi VJII. 


was described as a man whose private views need disquiet 
nobody, as the Church had not raised him to the post of a 
teacher ; the doctrine of the Roman Church as regards sin and 
grace could be seen from Augustine's writings^ especially those to 
Prosper and Hilary, The Scythians sent a vigorous reply, 
sparing the Pope in so far as they questioned the authenticity 
of his letter. If Augustine's teaching was that of the Catholic 
Church, then Faustus was a heretic ; that is what the Pope 
would have necessarily said. The heresy was perfectly clear ; 
for Faustus only understood by prevenient grace, external grace 
— the preaching of the gospel. At the same time, the monks 
instigated Fulgentius now to write directly against Faustus, 
which he did in the Seven Books c. Faustum (lost) and — on his 
return to Africa A.D. 523 — in his work, De veritate prsedestina- 
tionis et gratise dei (1. III.) In this work Fulgentius expounds 
out and out Augustinianism (particularism of the will to .save), 
but rejects the idea of a predestination to sin (nevertheless to 
punishment).^ The Bishops remaining in Sardinia concurred 
fully with their colleague in the Ep. Synodica addressed to the 
Scythian monks : grace is the light, the will the eye ; the eye 
needs light in order to be able to see the light Faustus* theses 
are "inventions, contrary to the truth, entirely hostile to the 
Catholic faith" (commenta, veritati contraria, catholicsB fidei 
penitus inimica). 

These conflicts could not be without consequence for South- 
em Gaul. Still greater effect was produced by the reading of 
Augustine's writings, especially his sermons. In an age that 
thought solely in contrasts, the dilemma whether Augustine 
was a holy doctor or a heretic could only be decided ultimately 
in favour of the incomparable teacher. Caesarius of Aries, the 
most meritorious and famous Bishop at the beginning of the 
sixth century, had, though trained in Lerinum and never wholly 
belying his training, so steeped himself in Augustine's works, 
that he would not abandon him, and his theology and sermons 
became a mirror of the master's important thoughts and forms 
of expression (though not of all or the most characteristic of 

1 On the derivation of original sin, see I. 4 : *' proinde de immtinditia nuptiarum 
mundus homo non nascitur, quia interveniente libidine seminatur.*' 



themy He fought against ( + 542) the writings and authority 
of Faustus.^ In Southern Gaul he at first met with much oppo- 
sition, but still more indifference — for how many Bishops were 
there at the beginning of the sixth century capable of under- 
standing Augustinianism ? In Rome, on the contrary, he found 
approval.^ This approval was not without effect in Gaul.* A 
mixed Synod at Orange* in A.D. 529 under the presidency of 
Csdsarius approved of twenty-five Canons, /. ^., headings extracted 
by Pope Felix IV. from Augustine and Prosper s writings, and 
sent by him to the South Gallicans as the doctrine of the 
** ancient Fathers," in order to support Caesarius in his fight 
against Semi-Pelagianism,® 

These Canons ^ are strongly anti-Semi-Pelagian : — 3 : " The 
grace of God is not granted in response to prayer, but itself 
causes the prayer to be offered for it" 4 : " That we may be 

^ See Arnold's interesting monograph, Qisarius von Arelate und die gallische Kirche 
s. Zeit, 1894. An edition of the Opp. Csesarii is forthcoming. 

' Avitus of Vienne is usually named along with him ; but after Arnold's authorita- 
tive account of the former (p. 202 ff.), he must be disregarded. On the other hand, 
Mamertus Claudianus is to be named as an opponent of Faustus (Arnold, p. 325) ; 
he is an Augustinian and Neoplatonist, and thus an enemy of Semi-Pelagianism as a 

* Ceesarius' work, however, De gratia et libero arbitrio, and its approval by Felix 
IV. belong to the realm of fiction (Arnold, p. 499}. On the other hand, we have 10 
notice some indirect manifestations on the part of Rome about A.D. 500 in &vour of 
Augustinianism and against Faustus. Yet Rome never took the trouble really to 
comprehend Augustinianism. 

* We only know of the Synod of Valencia, at which Ceesarius was not present, 
owing to illness, but where he was represented by a friendly Bishop, from the Vita 
Cs^irii by his disciple Cyprian (Mansi VIII., p. 723). Hefele has shown (Concilien- 
gesch., 11.3 p. 73S tf.), that it is to be dated before the Synod of Orange. It seems 
necessary to infer from the short account that the Bishops met to oppose Ciesarius, 
and publisaed a decree condemning, or at least disapproving his teaching (see also 
Arnold, p. 346 ff.}. At Orange Caasarius justified himself, or triumphantly defended 
his doctrine from *' Apostolic tradition," and Pope Boniface agreed with him, and 
not yfiih his Valencian opponents. 

» See^Arnold p. 350 ff. 

< We cannot now decide whether the 25 Canons are absolutely identical with 
those transmitted heads, or whether the Synod (perhaps even the Pope?) proposed 
trifling modifications ; see Chap. XIX. of the Treves Codex in Mansi VIII., p. 722. 
However, it is very improbable that the Bishopi made important changes in these 
heads (yet see Arnold, p. 352) since according to them they expounded their own 
view in tne Epilogue. 

7 See Hahn, § 103 ; Hefele, p. 726 f. 


cleansed from sin, God does not wait upon, but prepares, our 
will." 5 : " The beginning of faith is not due to us, but to the 
grace of God — that state of believing by which we believe in 
him who justifies the impious, and attain the regeneration of 
holy Baptism, is brought about through the gift of grace, i>., the 
inspiration of the Holy Spirit correcting our will from unbelief 
to faith, and is not ours naturally." 6: "It is the work of grace 
that we believe, will, desire, attempt, knock, etc., and not vice- 
versd" 7 : ** We cannot without grace think or choose, by our 
natural powers, anything good that pertains to salvation." 8 : 
"It is untrue that some attain baptismal faith by mercy, others 
by free-will." 9 : " As often as we do good, God works in and 
with us, that we may work." 10 : " Even the regenerate and 
holy always need the divine aid." 11: " We can only vow to 
God what we ourselves have received from him." 12 : "God 
loves us as we shall be by his gift, not as we are by our merit." 
13 : "Choice of will, weakened in the first man, cannot be re- 
paired except by the grace of Baptism." 16 : " Let no one 
boast of what he seems to have as if he did not receive it, or 
think that he has received, because the letter appeared or was 
sounded outwardly that it might be read or heard." 17 : " On 
the love of God diffused in hearts by the Holy Spirit" 18: 
"Undeserved grace precedes meritorious works." 19: "Even 
if it had remained in the sound state in which it was created, 
human nature would by no means preserve itself without the 
aid of its creator." 21 : "The law does not justify, and grace 
is not nature ; therefore Christ died not gratuitously, but that 
the law might be fulfilled, and that nature, ruined by Adam, 
might be repaired by him." 22 : " No one has anything of his 
own but falsehood and sin," and " The virtue of heathens is pro- 
duced only by worldly desire, that of Christians springs not 
from free will, but from the gift of the Holy Ghost"* 23: " In 
(doing) evil men carry out their own will, but when they do 
what they resolve in order to serve the divine will, although 
their actions are willed by them, yet it is his will by which their 
act of will is both prepared and commanded." 24 : " The twig 

1 This Canon caused the greatest distress to the Catholic Church in the sixteenth, 
seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries (see Hefele, p. 733 f.). 


does not benefit the stem, but the stem the twig ; so also those 
who have Christ in them and abide in him do not benefit Christ, 
but themselves.*' 25 : "To love God is the gift of God." 

The definition given by the Bishops, after drawing up these 
heads, is likewise strongly anti-Semi-Pelagian.' But no mention 
is made of predestination^ nor is the inner process of grace^ on 
which Augustine laid the chief stress^ properly appreciated. The 
former fact would have been no blemish in itself; but at that 
time, when the question was whether the whole Augustine was 
authoritative or not, silence was dangerous. Those who were 
disposed to Semi-Pelagianism could appeal to the fact that 
Augustine's doctrine of predestination was not approved, and 
might then introduce into this unsanctioned tenet a great deal 
that belonged to the doctrine of grace. This actually took 
place. Accordingly the controversy only came apparently to an 
end here. But the continued vitality of Semi-Pelagian ideas, 
under cover of Augustinian formulas, was further promoted by 
that external conception of grace as the sacrament of Baptism, 
which lay at the root of the decree. " Love," it is true, was also 
discussed ; but we see easily that the idea of the sacrament was 
all-predominant " Even Augustine's adherents," it has been truly 
remarked, " lost sight of the distinction between Augustinianism 
and Semi-Pelagianism in relation to all who were baptised." It 
was Augustine himself, who, because he had not comprehended 
the notion of faith, was to blame for the fact that, at the close 
of the dispute, a conception was evolved as his doctrine which, 
while explaining grace to be beginning and end, really held to 
the magical miracle of Baptism, and to " faithful working with 
the aid of Christ" (fideliter laborare auxiliante Christo). 

1 Yet Augustine would not have written the sentence : *' hoc etiam credimus, quod 
accepta per baptismum gratia omms baptizati Christo auxiliante et co-operante, quie 
ad salutem animae pertinent, possint et debeant, sijideliter laborare voluerint, adim- 
plere." Besides, the words "quae ad salutem pertinent adimplere'' and •* fideliter 
laborare " are ambiguous. 

> The word only occurs in the epilogue, and there merely to xc^eci prndesiinatU ad 
malum : " aliquos vero ad malum divina potestate praedestinatos esse non solum non 
credimus, sed etiam, si sunt qui tantum malum credere velint, cum omni detestatione 
illis anathema dicimus." The decree is also silent as to ^alta irrestslibt'lis, and the 
particularism of God's will to bestow grace. 


The new Pope, Boniface II., approved of these decrees in a 
letter to Caesarius ; ' they have retained a great esteem in the 
Catholic Church, and were very thoroughly considered by the 
Council of Trent.'' Henceforth, the doctrine of prevenient 
grace, on which the Pope also laid particular stress, is to be 
regarded as Western dogma ; the Semi-Pelagians have to be 
acknowledged heretics. But the controversy could begin anew 
at any moment, as soon, namely, as any one appeared, who, for 
the sake of prevenient grace, also required the recognition of 
particular election to grace. If we consider which of Augustine's 
doctrines met with acceptance, and which were passed over, if 
further we recollect why the former were approved, we are 
compelled to say that, next to anxiety to secure to the 
Sacrament of Baptism its irreplaceable importance, it was the 
monastic view of the impurity of marriage that especially operated 
Jiere. All are sinful, and grace must come before our own 
efforts, because all are born from the sinful lust of sexual 
intercourse. The Catholic system of doctrine has risen from a 
compromise between two equally monastic conceptions: the 
meritoriousness of works and the impurity of marriage. Both 
thoughts were Augustinian in themselves and in their working 
out ; but the moving soul of Augustinianism was starved. It is 
a fact that has not yet been sufficiently appreciated titat Catholic 
doctrine did not adhere to Semi-Pelagianisniy because the former 
declared sexual desire to be sinful.^ 

^ Mansi VIII., p. 735 sq. The lesolutions were also subscribed by laymen, a thing 
almost unheard of in the dogmatic history of the ancient Church, but not so in Gaul 
in the sixth century ; see Hatch, '* The Growth of Church Institutions " chap. VIII. 

' The Roman Bishops evidently felt their attitude in the Semi- Pelagian controversy 
prejudiced by the decisions of their predecessors against Pelagius. We look in vain 
for an independent word coming from internal conviction (Gelasius b perhaps an 
exception), and yet it is quite essentially "thanks" to them that the Semi- Pelagian 
dispute ended with the recognition of the Augustinian doctrine of prevenient grace 
and with silence as to predestination. 

* Seeberg(Dogmengesch. I., p. 326), has disputed this, because the representatives of 
Semi-Pelagianism made the strongest assertions on this point (see especially Faustus), 
and because the opposition between them and the Augustinians actually depended on 
quite different issues. Both objections are quite correct, but they do not meet the 
above statement ; the Semi-Pelagian doctrine of grace could not but react upon and 
modify Augustine's doctrine of original sin, and therefore also the view of the evil of 
sin as necessarily propagated by sexual intercourse, involving damnation, and de- 


2. Gregory the Great 

The doctrine of grace taught by Pope Gregory the Great 
(590 to 604) shows how little Augustinianism was understood 
in Rome, and how confused theological thought had become 
in the course of the sixth century. A more motley farrago of 
Augustinian formulas and crude work-religion (ergismus) 
could hardly be conceived. Gregory has nowhere uttered an 
original thought; he has rather at all points preserved, while 
emasculating, the traditional system of doctrine, reduced the 
spiritual to the level of a coarsely material intelligence, changed 
dogmatic, so far as it suited, into technical directions for the 
clergy, and associated it with popular religion of the second 
rank. All his institutions were wise and well considered, and 
yet they sprang from an almost naif monastic soul, which 
laboured with faithful anxiety at the education of uncivilised 
peoples, and the training of his clergy, ever adopting what was 
calculated by turns to disquiet and soothe, and thus to rule the 
lay world with the mechanism of religion.^ Because Gregory, 
living in an age when the old was passing away and the new 
presented itself in a form still rude and disjointed, looked only 
to what was necessary and attainable, he sanctioned as religion 
an external legality, as suited to train young nations, as it was 
adapted to the Epigones of ancient civilisation, who had lost 
fineness of feeling and thought, were sunk in superstition and 
magic, and did homage to the stupid ideals of asceticism.* It is 
the accent that changes the melody, and the tone makes the 
music. Gregory created the vulgar type of mediaeval Catholic- 
ism by the way he accented the various traditional doctrines 
and Church usages,^ and the tone to which he tuned Christian 

structive of all goodness. As regards this it is quite indifferent how individual 
Semi-Pelagian monks looked at sexual desire and marriage, as also whether this point 
came at once to light in the controversy. 

* After reading Gregory's abundant correspondence, we gain a high respect for the 
wisdom, charity, tolerance, and energy of the Pope. 

* Yet side by side with this external legality there are not wanting traits of Gospel 
liberty ; see the letters to Augustine. 

> So Lau. Gregor d. Grosse, p. 326 : " Without perceiving, perhaps, the signific- 


souls is the key we hear echoed by Cathoh'cism down to the 
present day.' The voice is the voice of Gregory, and also of 
Jerome, but the hands are Augustine's. Only in one respect 
he was not Augustine's disciple. Akin to Cyprian and Leo I. 
and well versed in jurisprudence, he laid stress on the legal 
element in addition to the ritual and sacramental. Through 
him the amalgamation of doctrine and Church government made 
a further advance in the West? 

A few lines are sufficient to depict the emasculated 
Augustinianism represented by Gregory. Reason, science, and 
philosophy, are more strongly depreciated by him than by 
Augustine (Evang. II. hom. 26); 3 miracle is the distinguishing 
mark of the religious. Reason can, indeed, establish the 
existence of God, but it is only "by faith that the way is 
opened to the vfsion of God" (per aditum fidei aperitur 
aditus visionis dei; Ezech. II. hom. 5, following Augustine). 
The doctrine of angels and the devil comes to the front, because 
it suited popular and monastic piety. We can call Gregory the 
" Doctor angelorum et diaboli." As regards the angels, he took 
particular delight (see Evang. II. hom. 34) in working out their 
ranks (under the influence of Greek mysticism), in glorifying 
Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael — the hero of miracle, the great 
messenger and warrior against the spirits of the air, and the 
medicine-man — in the exact division of angelic tasks and the 
idea of guardian spirits ; he held that angels watched over men, 
as the latter did over cattle. He who thought so little of 
Grseco-Roman culture sanctioned its most inferior parts in his 

ance of what he did, he prepared the way for the development of later Catholicism by 
imperceptibly altering the conception of the tradition received from a preceding age." 

1 Gregory was most read of the Western Church Fathers, as the literature of the 
Middle Ages and our libraries show. Even in the seventh century he was extolled 
by tasteless and uncritical writers as wiser than Augustine, more eloquent than 
Cyprian, more pious than Anthony (" nihil illi simile demonstrat antiquitas" Ildefond. 
de script, i). 

s Lau gives a detailed account of Gregoiy's teaching ; l.c. pp. 329-556. We see 
here the extent of Gregory's dependence on Augustine. He especially lays as great 
stress on Holy Scripture being the rule of life and doctrine. The most profound of 
Augustine's thoughts are touched on, but they are all rendered superficial. 

s '* Fides non habet meritum, cui humana ratio prsebet experimentum " (§ i). 
TertuUian, certainly, had already said that (Apolog. 21) once. 


doctrine of the angels. His monkish fancy dealt still more 
actively in conceptions about the devil and demons, and he 
gave new life to ideas about Antichrist, who stood already at 
the door, because the world was near its end As the Logos 
had assumed human nature, so the devil would be incarnate 
at the end of the world (Moral. 31, 24; 13, 10). Before Christ 
appeared, the devil possessed all men of right, and he still 
possesses unbelievers. He raged through the latter; but as 
regarded believers he was a powerless and cheated devil. The 
doctrines of redemption, justification, grace, and sin show an 
Augustinianism modified in the interests of miracle, sacred 
rites and monachism. The God-man — whose mother remained 
a virgin at and after the birth — was sinless, because he did not 
come into the world through fleshly lust He is our redeemer 
(redemptor) and mediator — these titles being preferred — and he 
especially propitiated the devil by purchasing men from him' 
with his death,' and he abolished the disunion between angels 
and men. It is also remarked incidentally that Christ bore 
our punishments and propitiated God's wrath. But, besides 
redemption from the devil, the chief thing is deliverance from 
sin itself. It was effected by Christ putting an end to the 
punishment of original sin, and also destroying sin itself, 
by giving us an exampleJ" This amounts to saying that 
Christ's work was incomplete, i,e,^ that it must be supple- 
mented by our penances, for it transformed the eternal punish- 
ment of original sin into temporary penalties, which must be 
atoned for, and it acts mainly by way of example.^ In fact, in 

^ The deception theory is thus given by Gregory in its most revolting form. l*he 
devil is the fish snapping at Christ's flesh, and swallowing the hidden hook, his 
divinity ; see Moral. 33, 7, 9. 

> MoraL I. 13: **Incamatus dominus in semetipso omne quod nobis inspiravit 
ostendit, ut quod prxcepto diceret, exemplo suaderet." II. 24 : " Venit inter homines 
mediator dei et hominum, homo Christus Jesus, ad prsebendlim exemplum vitse 
hominibus simplex, ad non parcendum malignis spiritibus rectus ad debellandum 
superbiam timens deum, ad detergendam vero in electis suis immtmditiam recedens 
a malo." 

9 Iau. p. 434 : ** The chief stress is placed on instruction and example ; reconcilia- 
tion with God, certainty of which is absolutely necessary to man's peace of mind, is 
almost entirely passed over ; and deliverance from punishment is inadequately con- 
ceived, as referring merely to original sin, or is regarded purely externally. . . . AH 


Gregory's teaching, Christ's death and penance appear side by 
side, as two factors of equal value.' 

We must remember this, or we may assign too high a value 
to another line of thought. Gregory regards Christ's death as 
an offering (oblatio) for our purification : Christ presents it 
constantly for us, ever showing God his (crucified) body.' But 
this apparently high pitched view after all means very little. 
It has risen from the observance of the Lord's Supper. What 
was constantly done by the priest has been transferred to Christ 
himself But both oblations, related as they are to our " puri- 
fication," possess their sole value in the mitigation of sins 
penalties. Still another consideration was at work in this case, 
one that, though relying on Biblical statements, sprang in reality 
from wholly different sources. It is the conception of Christ's 
continual intercession. But this intercession must be combined 
with the whole apparatus of intercessions (of angels, saints, 
alms and masses for the dead, which were conceived as personi- 
fied forces), to see that we are here dealing with a heat/ien 
conception, which, though it had indeed long been established 
in the practice of the Church, was only now elevated into a 
theory — that of " aids in need." Gregory's candid avowal that 

that Gregory can do to give man peace is to direct him to penance and his good 
works." He speaks of even the holiest remaining in constant uncertainty as to their 
reconciliation. He can make nothing of the thesis that our sins are forgiven for 
Christ's sake. God rather punishes every sin not atoned for by penance, even if he 
pardons it ; see Moral. IX. y^ : ** Bene dicit Hiob (IX. 28) : Sciens quod non parceris 
delinquenti, quia delicta nostra sive per nos sive per semetipsum resecat^ etiam cum 
relaxat. Ab clectis enim suis iniquitatum maculas studet temporali afflictione tergere, 
quas in eis in perpetuum non vult videre." In his commentary on i Kings (1. IV. 4, 
57), which was hardly transcribed indeed in its present form by Gregory himself, we 
even read : " Non omnia nostra Christus explevit, per crucem quidem suam omnes 
redemit, sed remansit, ut qui redimi et regnare cum eo nititur, crucifigatur. Hoc 
profecto residuum viderat, qui dicebat : si compatimur et conregnabimus. Quasi 
dicat : Quod explevit Christus, non valet nisi ei, qui id quod remansit adimplet.'' 

1 Therefore we find over and over in the Moral, in reference to the expiation of 
sins : ** sive per nos, sive per deum." 

« Moral, i. 24: "Sine intermissione pro nobis holocaustum redemptor immolat, 
qui sine cessatione patri suam pro nobis incamationem demonstrat ; ipsa quippe ejus 
incamatio nostne emundationis oblatio est ; cumque se hominem ostendit, delicia 
hominis interveniens diluit. Et humanitatis suae mysterio perenne sacrificium 
immolat, quia et haec sunt sterna, quse mundat." 


the death of Christ was not absolutely necessary, showed how 
indefinite was his view of the part it played in this mediation. 
As God created us from nothing, he could also have delivered 
us from misery without Christ's death. But he willed to show 
us the greatness of his compassion by taking upon himself that 
from which he desired to deliver us ; he willed to give us an 
example, that we should not dread the misfortune and miseries 
of the world, but should avoid its happiness ; and he sought 
to teach us to remember death/ Nor has Gregory yet sketched 
a theory of Christ's merit — ^after the analogy of the merits 
which we can gain. That was reserved for the Middle Ages ; 
but he has examined Christ's work from the point of view of 
masses for the dead and the intercession of saints. 

In the doctrines of the primitive state, original sin, sin, faith and 
grace, the Augustinian formulas are repeated — after the Canons 
of Orange, without irresistible grace and particular election.* 
But a very real significance was attributed to free-will, which 
Augustine had abstractly admitted. Here we have the fully 
developed doctrines of free and prevenient grace, of the primi- 
tive state and original sin ; (the carnal lust of parents is the 
cause of our life, therefore the latter is sinful; the "disobedi- 
ence " or " disorderliness " of the genital organs is the proof of 
original sin ; intercourse in marriage is never innocent). And 
side by side with all this, we have a calm statement of the 
doctrine of the will, which is merely weakened, and of free 
choice (liberum arbitrium) which must follow grace, if the latter 
is to become operative,3 — and yet grace is first to determine the 
will to will. From the first two powers co-operate in all good, 
since free-will must accept what grace offers. It can therefore 
be said "that we redeem ourselves because we assent to the 
Lord redeeming us." * Predestination is simply reduced in the 

1 Moral. 20, 36; 2, 37. Ezek. 1. H. hom. I, 2. Here occur fine ideas: " Nos 
minus amasset, nisi et vulnera nostra susciperet " (M. 20, 36). 

2 See the proof of positive points of agreement between Gregory and the Canons of 
Oranges in Arnold, Caesariu?, p. 369 f. Yet Gregory never himself appealed to those 

s How could a bishop, who felt himself to be the pastor of all Christendom, have 
then made pure Augustinianism the standard of all his counsels ? 
* Moral. 24, xo ; see also 33, 21 ; " Bonum quod agimus et dei est et nostrum. 


case of sinners and elect to prescience, while at the same time 
it is maintained in other passages that it rests oh God's free 
power and grace. The latter assumption was necessary, because 
Gregory also adhered to "a fixed and definite number of the 
elect " — to supply the place of angels ; but ultimately all belong 
to that number whose perseverance in faith and good works 
God knew beforehand. 

After all, everything spiritual is reduced to the rites of the 
Church. As in the East, these come to the front ; but they are 
regarded in a different way. In the East more scope is given 
to religious sentiment, which exalts itself and luxuriates in the 
whole of the Cultus as a divino-human drama ; in the West, as 
befitted the Roman character, everything is more prosaic and 
calculating. Man accomplishes and receives ; submissive obedi- 
ence is the chief virtue; merits are rewarded, but on the 
humble a merit not his own is also bestowed : that is grace. 
Baptism, the Lord's Supper, and penance are the central points 
in the legal process of grace. We are baptised : thereby in- 
herited guilt is expiated, and all sins committed before baptism 
are blotted out; but original sin is not obliterated, and the 
guilt of later sins remains.* It must be cancelled or atoned for. 
For this there are numerous means, which are as necessary as 
they are uncertain. A man must make himself righteous ; for 
righteousness is the supreme virtue (radix virtutum). He is 
instructed to pray, give alms, and mourn over life. But he 
is further told : " Those who trust in no work of their own run 
to the protection of the holy martyrs, and throng to their sacred 

del per praevenientem giatiam, nostrum per obsequentem liberam voluntatero. . . . 
Si nostrum non est, unde nobb retribui prsemia speramus? Quia ergo non immerito 
gratias agimus, scimus, quod ejus munere prsevenimur ; et rursum quia mm immerito 
retributionem qtuerimus^ scimus, quod obsequente libero arbitrio bona eli^mus, qua 
ageremus.*^ See Ep. III. 29: Christ will comfort us richly at the Judgment, when 
he observes that we have punished our faults by ourselves. 

1 Moral. IX. 34 : *' Salutis unda a culpa primi parentis absolvimur, sed tamen 
recUum ejusdem culpae diluentes absoluti quoque adhuc camaliter obimus." The 
casuistical treatment of sins is by no means puritanical in Gregory. He displays in 
this matter a lofty wisdom united with charity, and gives directions which were 
certainly the best for the circumstances of the time. He says once (Ep. XI. 64) : 
*' It is characteristic of pious souls to imagine that they are guilty of faults when 
there is absolutely none." 


bodies with tears, entreat that they may merit pardon at the 
intercession of the saints."* This practice of resorting to saints 
and relics had existed for a long time, but Gregory has the 
merit of systematising it, at the same time providing it with 
abundant material by means of his " Dialogues," as well as his 
other writings.' A cloud of " mediators " came between God 
and the soul : angels, saints, and Christ ; and men began already 
to compute cunningly what each could do for them, what each 
was good for. Uncertainty about God, perverse, monkish 
humility, and the dread entertained by the poor unreconciled 
heart of sin's penalties, threw Christians into the arms of pagan 
superstition, and introduced the " mediators " into dogmatics. 
But in terrifying with its principle: "sin is in no case 
absolved without punishment " (nullatenus peccatum sine vin- 
dicta laxatur),^ the Church not only referred men to intercessors, 
alms, and the other forms of satisfaction, to ** masses for the 
dead," which obtained an ever-increasing importance, but it 
even modified hell, placing purgatory in front of heaven ; it 
thereby confused conscience and lessened the gravity of sin, 
turning men's interest to sin's punishment Gregory sanctioned 
and developed broadly the doctrine of purgatory,* already sug- 
gested by Augustine.^ The power of the Churchy of prayers, 

1 Moral. XVI. ^i : "Hi qui de nullo suo opere confidunt, ad sanctorum martynim 
protectionem currunt atque ad sacra eorum corpora fletibus iosistunt, promereri se 
veniam iis intercedentibus deprecantur." 

' Similar things to those recorded by Gregory were often narrated at an earlier 
date ; but no Western writer before him had developed these superstitions to such an 
extent — and he was the most influential bishop. Miracles wrought by relics were to 
him eveiy-day events ; the miraculous power of some was so great that everyone who 
touched them died. Everything that came in contact with them was magnetised. 
What powerful intercessors and advocates must then the saints be, when even their 
bodies did such deeds ! Gregory therefore sought to preserve the attachment of 
influential people by sending relics and — slaves. On pictures, see Ep. IX. 52 ; 
IX. 105 ; XI. 13. 

' Moral. IX. 34, or : " delinquenti dominus nequaquam parcit, quia delictum sine 
ultione non deserit. Aut enim ipse homo in se paenitens punit, aut hoc deus cum 
homine vindicans percutit.'* 

^ See Dial. IV. (25) and 39. After God has changed eternal punishments into 
temporary, \}\tjusttfi^ must expiate these temporary penalties for sin in purgatory. 
This is inferred indirectly from Matth. XII. 31, directly from I Cor. III. 12 t 
There are perfect men, however, who do not need purgatory. 

' See above, p. 232. 


and intercessors extended, however, to this purgatory of 

The whole life even of the baptised being still stained at 
least by small sins, their constant attitude must be one of 
penitence, /.^., they must practise penance, which culminates in 
satisfactions and invocations to "Aids in need." Gregory 
systematised the doctrine of penance in the exact form in which 
it passed over into the Middle Ages.* Penance included four 
points, perception of sin and dread of God's judgments, regret 
(contritio), confession of sin, and satisfaction (satisfactio). The 
two first could also be conceived as one (conversio mentis) 3 
The chief emphasis was still held to fall on ** conversion/* even 
penance was not yet attached to the institution of the Church 
and the priest ; but " satisfaction " was necessarily felt to be the 
main thing. The last word was not indeed yet said ; but 
already the order of penance was taking the place due to faith ; 
nay, it was called the "baptism of tears."* And the Lord's 
Supper was also ultimately drawn into the mechanism of 
penance. In this case, again, Gregory had only to accentuate 
what had long been in use. The main point in the Lord's 
Supper was that it was a sacrifice, which benefited living and 
dead as a means of mitigation (laxatio). As a sacrifice it was 
a repetition of Christ's — hence Gregory's development of the 

1 Dial. IV. 57 : ** Credo, quia hoc tarn aperte cum viventibus ac nescientibus 
agitur, ut CHnctis hsec agentibus ac nescientibus ostendatur, quia si insolubiles culpse 
non fuerint, ad absolutionem prodesse etiam mortuis victima sacne oblationis possit. 
Sed sciendum est, quia illis sacrx victimsc mortuis prosint, qui hie vivendo obtinuerunt, 
ut eos etiam post mortem bona adjuvent, quse hie pro ipsis ab aliis fiunt." 

a On the older Western order of penance, see Preuschen, Tertullian's Schriften de 
psenit. and de pudicit. 1890; KolfPs Das Indulgenzedict des ri5m. Bischofs Kallist 
1893 (Texte und Unters. Vol. 1 1, Part 3) ; Gotz, Die Busslehre Cyprian's 1895 ; Karl 
MuUer, Die Bussinstitution in Karthago unter Cyprian (Zeitschr. f. K.-Gesch., Vol. 
16 [1895.96] p. I ff., p. 187 ff.). 

s I Reg. I. VI. 2, 33 : " tria in unoquoque consideranda sunt veraciter psenitente, 
videlicet conversio mentis, confessio oris et vindicta peccati." Moral 13, 39 : 
" convertuntur fide, veniunt opere, convertuntur deserendo mala, veniunt bona 
faciendo." Voluntarily assumed pains constitute scUisfcutio, 

4 Evang. 1. I. hom. 10 : *' Peccata nostra prseterita in baptismatis perceptione 
laxata sunt, et tamen post baptisma multa commisimus, sed laxari iterum baptismatis 
aqua non possumus. Quia ergo et post baptisma inquinavimus vitim, baptizemus 
lacrimis conscientiam." 


ceremonial ritual — and it is self-evident that this was conceived 
altogether realistically. In this rite (eucharistia, missa, sacri- 
ficium, oblatio, hostia, sacramentum passionis, communio), the 
passion of Christ ; ' who " is entire in the single portions " (in 
singulis portionibus totus est), was repeated for our atonement. 
Yet even here the last word was not yet uttered, transubstantia- 
tion was not yet evolved. Indeed, we find, accompanying the 
above, a view of the Lord's Supper, which lays stress on cur 
presenting ourselves to God as the victim (the host), in yielding 
ourselves to him, practising love, rendering daily the sacrifice of 
tears, despising the world, and — daily offering the host of the 
body and blood of Christ' 

What has been left here of Augustinianism ? All the popular 
Catholic elements which Augustine thrust aside and in part 
remodelled have returned with doubled strength ! The moral 
and legal view has triumphed over the religious. What we see 
aimed at in Cyprian's work, De opere et eleemosynis, now 
dominates the whole religious conception, and the uncertainty 
left by Augustine as to the notion of God, because his ideas 
regarding God in Christ were only vague^ has here become a 
source of injury traversing the whole system of religion. For 
what does Gregory know of God ? That^ being omnipotent, he 
has an inscrutable wUl;^ being the requiter, he leaves no sin 
unpunished ; and that because he is beneficent ^ he has created an 
immense multitude of institutions for conveying grace, whose use 
enables the free will to escape sin's penalties ^ and to exhibit merits 
to God the rewarder. That is Gregory's notion of God, and it is 

1 Evang. 1. II. hom. 37, 7 : '* Singulariter ad absolutionem nostram oblata cum 
lacrimis et benignitate mentis sacri altaris hostia suffragatur, quia is, qui in se 
resuigens a mortuis jam non moritur, adhuc per banc in suo mysterio pro nobis 
iterum patitur. Nam quoties ei hostiam suae passionis oflferimus, toties nobis ad 
absolutionem nostram passionem illius reparamus." 

' See Dial. IV. 58, 59. Gr^ory already laid great stress on the frequency of 
masses. He also approved of their use to avert temporal sufferings. He tells 
with approval of a woman having delivered her husband from prison by their means, 
and he sees in them generally the remedy against all torments in this world and in 
purgatory. Only to eternal blessedness the mass does not apply. 

s That is the impression that was preserved of Augustine's doctrine of predestina> 


the specific conception held by the Roman Catholic Church: 
Christ as a person is forgotten. He is a great name in dog- 
matics, i,e.y at the relative place ; but the fundamental questions 
of salvation are not answered by reference to him, and in life 
the baptised has to depend on "means" which exist partly 
alongside, partly independently of him, or merely bear his 
bad^e. From this standpoint is explained the whole structure 
of Gregory's theory of religion, which once more sets \x^fear^ 
and fiope instead o{ faith and hve^ and for the grace of God in 
Christ substitutes not an improved, but merely a more compli- 
cated doctrine of merit. And yet Augustine could not have 
complained of this displacement of his ideas ; for he had left 
standing, nay, had himself admitted into his system, all the 
main lines of this theory of religion. Even the manifest and 
grave extemalisation of sin, the direction that we must be ever 
bathed in tears, while at the same time zealous and watchful to 
escape the penalties of sin, the perversion of the notion of God 
and sin, as if God's sole concern was to be satisfiedy since he 
was the requiter — all these thoughts have their points of contact 
in the range of Augustine's conceptions.' The darkest spot in 
mediaeval piety, the fact that it commanded constant contrition, 
while at the same time it incited the penitent to make calcula- 
tions which deadened the moral nerve and changed regret for 
sin into dread of punishment — this source of evil, which makes 
religious morality worse than non-religious, was from this time 
perpetuated in the Catholic Church of the Wests 

1 *« Deus terrores incutit "--often. 

' The term "tutius,*' and the via tuHor already play a great part in Gregory's 
writings; see e,g,^ Dial. IV. 58: "Pensandum est, quod tutior sit via, ut bonum 
quod quisque post mortem suam sperat agi per alios, agit ipse dum vivit per se.'* 
Accordingly that is only tutius^ and not a self-evident duty. 

' Gregory also expressly forbids anyone to be certain of his salvation ; for this he 
could, indeed, appeal to Augustine. His letter to the Empress Gregoria's lady of 
the bed-chamber is most instructive (V. 25). This poor woman wished to have 
assurance of her salvation, and had written the Pope that she would ply him with 
letters until he should write that he knew by a special revelation that her sins were 
forgiven* What an evangelical impulse in A.D. 596 ! The Pope replied, first, that 
he was unworthy of a special revelation ; secondly, that she should not be certain of 
forgiveness until, the last day of her life having come, she should no longer be in a 
position to deplore her sins. Till then she must continue to fear ; for certainty is the 
parent of indolence ; she must not strive to obtain it lest she go to sleep. " Let thy 


But in the case of Gregory himself, this system of religion is 
traversed by many other ideas gained from the Gospel and 
Augustine. He could speak eloquently of the impression made 
by the person of Christ, and describe the inner change pro- 
duced by the Divine Word ' in such a way as to make us feel 
that he is not reproducing a lesson he has learnt from others, 
but is speaking from his own experience. " Through the 
sacred oracles we are quickened by the gift of the Spirit, that 
we may reject works that bring death ; the Spirit enters, when God 
touches the mind of the reader in different ways and orders." 
The Spirit of God works on the inner nature through the 
Word. Thus, many of Augustine's, best thoughts are repro- 
duced in Gregory's writings.^ Again, in his Dogmatics he was 
not a sacerdotalist. If, as is undeniable, he gave an impetus to 
the further identification of the empirical Church with the 
Church, if all his teaching as to the imputed merit of saints, 
oblations, masses, penance, purgator>', etc., could not but benefit 
the sacerdotal Church, and favour the complete subjection of 
poor souls to its power, if, finally, his ecclesiastical policy was 
adapted to raise the Church, with the Pope at its head, to a 
supremacy that limited and gave its blessing and sanction to 
every other power, yet his dogmatic was by no means mere 
ecclesiasticism. We wonder, rather, that he has nowhere drawn 
the last, and apparently so obvious consequences,* in other 

soul tremble for a little while just now, that it may afterwards enjoy unending 

1 Divinus sermo. The phrase ** verbum fidei " is also very common. 

2 Ezech. I., h. 7. " Per sacra eloquia dono spiritus vivificamur, ut mortifera a 
nobis opera repellamus ; spiritus vadit, cum l^entis animum diversis modis et 
ordinibus tangit deus." 

8 Gregory's veracity, indeed, is not altogether above suspicion. His miraculous 
tales are often not ingenuous, but calculated; read e.g,^ Ep. IV. 30. His propa- 
ganda for the Church did not shrink from doubtful means. The Jews on papal 
properties were to be influenced to accept Christianity by the remission of taxes. 
Even if their own conversion was not sincere, their children would be good Catholics 
(Ep. V. S). Yet Gregory has expressed himself very distinctly against forcible con- 
versions (Ep. I. 47), 

* Besides, he by no means sought to introduce the usages of the Roman Church 
by tyrannical force, but rather directed Augustine, the missionary, to adopt what 
good he found in other national Churches ; see Ep. XI. 64. On the other hand, the 
bewildering identification of Peter and the Pope made a further advance in the 


words, that he did not rigidly concentrate the whole immense 
apparatus in the hand of the priest, and give the latter the 
guidance of every single soul. Already this had been frequently 
done in practice ; but the thought still predominated that every 
baptised person was alone responsible for himself, and had to 
go his awn way in ihe sight of God and within the Church, by 
aid of penance and forgiveness. It was reserved for the 
mediaeval development first to set up dogmatically the demand 
that the penitent, i>., every Christian from baptism to death, 
should depend wholly on the guidance of the priest* 

hands of Gregory. He means the Pope when he says : * * s. ecclesia in apostolorum 
principis soliditate firmata est." And he declares (£p. IX. 12) : " de Constantino- 
politana ecclesia quod dicunt, quis earn dubitet sedi apostolicse esse subjectam ; " 
see also the fine passage Ep. IX. 59 : "si qua culpa in episcopis invenitur, nescic 
quis Petri successori subjectus non sit ; cum vero culpa non exigit, omnes secundum 
rationem humilitatis aequales sunt." 

' Gregory's extensive correspondence shows how far even at this time stricti} 
theological questions had come to be eclipsed by practical ones as to pastoral super- 
vision and education by means of the cultus and church order. On Gregory's 
importance in connection with the cultus, see Duchesne's excellent work, Orig. du 
culte Chretien (1888), esp. p. 153 sq. 




Among the young uncivilised peoples, all ecclesiastical institu- 
tions occupied a still more prominent place than had been given 
them even by the development of the Church in the Roman 
Empire. The philosophical and theological capital of antiquity, 
already handed down in part in compendia, was propagated in 
new abridgements (Isidore of Seville, Bede, Rabanus, etc.). 
John Scotus the unique excepted/ no one was now able to probe 
that intellectual world to its ultimate ideas and perceptions, 

1 Johannes Scotus Erigena's system (chief work : De divisione naturae, see Migne 
CXXII. ; Christlieb i860, Huber 1861, see Ritter and Baur), does not belong to the 
hbtory of dogma in the West, for it is an entirely free, independent reproduction of 
the Neoplatonic (pantheistic) type of thonoht, as represented by the Areopagite and 
especially **the divine philosopher Maximus Confessor,** whom Scotus had read. 
Augustine also undoubtedly influenced him ; but he has not brought his speculation 
any nearer Christianity. The most learned and perhaps also the wisest man of his 
age, he maintained the complete identity of religio vera and philosophia vera^ and 
thus restored to its central place the fundamental thought of ancient philosophy. But 
to him, only nominally conceding a place to authority beside reason, the philoMphia 
vera was that monbm of view in which the knowledge of nature and that of God 
coincide, thought and being in that case also coinciding. (Everything is nature, 
and finally indeed, "nature which does not create and is not created," and the 
notion of being existing in the human mind is the substance of being itself: "intel- 
lectus rerum veraciter ipsse res sunt.'*) Acosmic idealism is carried by Scotus (as by 
Stephan bar Sudaili) to the point at which even deity disappears in the intellect of 
man. All agreements with Church doctrines rest with Scotus on accommodation ; 
they do not spring, however, from perplexity, but from the clear insight that 
wrappings must exist. In reality, even the living movement of nature itself is only 
an appearance. Without influence, indeed regarded with suspicion in his own time, 
he did not afterwards become the instructor of the West, though Western mystics 
have leamt much from him. He was too much of a Greek. In love and power of 
systematic construction he was phenomenal, and speculative philosophers rightly 
revere him as a master. 



and make it part of their own spiritual experience.' To the 
historian of civilisation everything in the epoch is interesting ; 
in the Carlovingian age, the foundations were laid for the 
developments of the Middle Ages ; but to the historian of 
dogmay if we are to consider not the appropriation of familiar 
material, but the advance of evolution, that period does not 
offer much. 

The Carlovingian epoch was a great, and in many respects 
an unsuccessful, essay at a renaissance of antiquity. It was 
not the product of the slow natural evolution of the Germano- 
Roman peoples, but Charlemagne and his circle sought to gain 
by storm a higher culture for the Prankish Empire, by a fre- 
quently forced return to antiquity, or by the establishment in 
their midst of Byzantine culture. Antiquity was still a living 
thing in Constantinople. Springer has shown, in dealing with 
the history of art, that the Carlovingian school is to be regarded 
as the after-bloom of ancient, and not as the beginning of 
mediaeval, art ; and this applies also to theological and philo- 
sophical efforts. Tlie Carlovingian period marks the epoch-making 
beginnings in the history of institutions ; » in the history of spiritual / y 
life it is an appendix to that of the ancient world. Therefore 
the history of dogma in the Middle Ages begins, strictly speak- 
ing, with the age of Clugny.3 It is also useless to discuss, in 
connection with this branch of study, the so-called popular 
forms of German Christianity found in poetical and prose 
fragments. For, firstly, their popular character is very limited ; 
secondly, popular Christianity has hardly exercised any influ* 

1 It is, on the other hand, wonderful with what strength of memory and intellect 
men like Alcuin and Paulinus of Aquileia familiarised themselves with the separate 
lines of Augustine's thought. Alcuin also lived a life of Augustinian piety. 

3 See Hatch : An introductory lecture on the study of ecclesiastical history, 1885. 

s On the history of dogma in the Carlovingian age, see Schwane, Dogmengesch. 
del mittleren Zeit. 1882; Bach, Dogmengesch. des Mittelalters I. Th. 1873, 
Thomasius-Seeberg, Dogmengesch. II. i, 1888 : Reuter, Gesch. der relig. Aufkla- 
rung im Mittelalter, 1875, ^' PP' ''^ '^^^ ^^^ book discusses the efforts to promote 
ctdture. Cf. also Gobi, Gesch. der Katechese im Abendland 1880, and Spiess, Gesch. 
des Unterrichtswesens in Deutschland von den altesten Zeiten bis zur Mitte des 13 
Jahrhunderts, 1885. Further the histories of the German Church by Rettberg and 
Ilauck. On " popular theology " among Anglo-Saxons, Saxons, and Franks, see 
Bach, I.e. I., p. 81 ff. 


ence at all on institutions, not to speak of dogma. He who 
wished to reach a higher theological culture, read Augustine 
and Gregory, Gregory and Augustine, and he felt himself to be 
merely a disciple in relation to these and the other Latin 
Fathers, having still to learn the lessons delivered to him.* 

At that time many of the clergy were undoubtedly keenly 
desirous of culture ; to see this we have only to look at the 
manuscripts preserved from the eighth and ninth centuries.' 
Nor must we overlook the fact that a small number of scholars 
went further than those belonging to the period A.D. 450-650, 
that they advanced beyond Isidore and Gregory to Augustine 
himself, saw through the emasculation of religion and its 
perversion into a ceremonial service and belief in miracle, and 
returned to the spiritual teaching of Augustine.3 But the lofty 
figure of the African Bishop set bounds to any further advance. 
The best looked up to him, but none saw past him, not even 
Alcuin and Agobard, though the latter has also studied Ter- 
tullian.* It is very attractive to study, in connection with 
Church history, the energetic efforts of the Carlovingian Augus- 

1 John Scotus forms an exception, and so also does, in some sense, Fredas of 
Tours, so far as the latter took an independent view of the ominous " nihil " pre- 
sented by Augustinian metaphysics. Ahner has, however, shown in his Dissertation 
on Fredegis and his letter "De nihilo et tenebris" (1878) that this work has been 
over-estimated by earlier scholars. 

^ Our gratitude is due to Schrors for having given in his monograph on Minkmnr 
(1884), pp. 166-174, an account of the ancient works read or quoted by the great 
Bishop. What an amount of learning and reading is evident from this comparison, 
and yet Hinkmar was by no means the greatest scholar. It is also interesting to 
notice that Hinkmar held strictly to the edict of Gelasius. 

' A greater interest in Dialectics was also shown by many teachers of the Car- 
lovingian period than by earlier theologians. Compare Alcuin's work, De fide 
trinitatis, which also displays a valiant effort to reach systematic unity in theological 
thought. Fredegis, Alcuin's discipulus dulcissimus^ was also reproved by Agobard 
as a "philosopher" for his preference for dialectics, the syllogism, and vexed ques- 
tions. (**Invenietis nobilitatem divini eloquii non secundum vestram assertioncm 
more philosophorum in tumorc et pompa esse verborum " Agobaitli lib. c. object. 
Fredegisi abb.) Yet his teaching as to auctoritas and ratio was not different from 
Augustine's ; but distrust was caused by the earnest attempt, on the basis of authority, 
to use reason in dealing with dogma. In the dispute between Agobard and Fredegis 
many controversial questions emerged which would have become important if the 
opponents had really developed them. 

* On Alcuin, see Werner's monograph (1881). Radbert had also read Tertullian. 


tinians, to observe their attempts, following but surpassing 
the great Emperor, to purify the traditional form of religion, 
and to narrow the range of a stupid awe of the mysteries and 
of a half-heathen superstition. But it would merely lead to 
confusion in the history of dogma if we were to try to examine 
these attempts.' 

The transactions and determining events important to the 
history of dogma in our epoch divide into the following groups. 
I. Controversies as to Byzantine and Roman Christology con- 
trasted with that of Augustine and the West, and between the 
Gregorian system of doctrine and Augustine's theory of pre- 
destination.' 2. Disputes shared in by Rome against the East 
regarding the filioque^ and against Rome and the East about 

1 The conditions which heralded the Carlovingian Renaissance consisted in the 
political position of the Prankish Empire, the flourishing of theological studies 
among the Anglo-Saxons (Hede), the ecclesiastical activity of Boniface on the 
Continent, and the partly new, partly revived, relations of the Empire to Rome and 
Constantinople. The fact that elements of culture from England, Rome, Lombardy, 
and finally also the East converged at Charlemagne's Court, and found so energetic 
a Maecenas in the king, made possible the renaissance, which then continued to exist 
under Louis the Pious, and at the Court of Charles the Bald. We cannot over- 
estimate the contribution made by Constantinople. We need only recall the works 
of the Pseudo-Dionysius, Maximus, and John of Damascus, which at that time had 
reached the Prankish Kingdom. Not only John Scotus, but e,g,^ Hinkmar, read or 
quoted the Pseudo-Dionysius. Some knowledge of Greek was possessed by a few 
Anglo-Saxons from the days of Archbishop Theodore of Tarsus in Canterbury ; but 
they were to a much greater extent teachers of Augustinianism ; yet not in the 
Christological question (see under). It was in Augustine along with the Areopagite 
that the mediaeval mysticism of the West — and also Scotus — found its source ; for it 
is very one-sided to make the latter alone responsible for mysticism. The Pranks' 
love of culture received its greatest strength from the acquisition of the Crown of 
Imperial Rome, A.D. 8oo. What had formerly been a voluntary aspiration now 
assumed the appearance of a duty and obligation ; for the king-emperor of the Pranks 
and Romans was the successor of Augustine and Constantine. But how lapidly all 
this blossom withered ! Walafrid writes truly in the prologue to Einhard's Life of 
Kaiser Karl : ** When King Karl assembled wise men, he filled with light, kindled 
by God, the mist-shrouded, and so to speak almost entirely dark, expanse of the 
kingdom entrusted to him by God, by the new radiance of all science such as till 
then had been in part wholly unknown to these barbarians. But now, since these 
studies once more relapse into their opposite, the light of wisdom, which finds few 
who love it, becomes ever rarer." 

> In these conflicts the controversy as to Augustine is represented. See also the 
dispute as to the Lord's Supper. 


images.^ 3. The development of the practice and theory of the 
Mass and of penance.' 

§ I. (a.) The Adoptian Controversy} 

After the Western Christological formula of the two natures 
had been forced on the East at the fourth Council, the latter 
had at the fifth Council given the formula a Cyrillian inter- 
pretation, which it confirmed by condemning the Three 
Chapters. Since the Roman Bishop had to accede to the new 
definition, which was regarded in the West as a revolt from that 
of Chalcedon, a schism took place in Upper Italy, which was 
only got over with difficulty, extending into the seventh century, 
and damaging the Pope's prestige in the West. The Monothe- 
lite controversies brought the schism to an end,* and the sixth 
Council restored the formula of Chalcedon in the new version 
of the problem — the question as to the will in Christ. But men 
were far from drawing the consequences of the formula in the 
East, or in Rome itself. Mysticism, which taught the complete 
and inseparable union of the divine and human, and celebrated 
its triumph in all the ritual institutions of the Church, had long 
overgrown the intractable dogmatic formula and stifled its 
influence. But the case was different with many Western 
Bishops, so long as they had not yet been reached by Greek 
mysticism, and still were under the influence of the ancient 
Western tradition, especially Augustine They held the Christo- 
logical theory that the Holy Trinity had effected the Incarna- 
tion by the second Person of the Godhead, the Son, selecting a 
man (homo) in virtue of eternal election — without antecedent 

1 These controversies are of universal interest in Church history, 

s In this development the dc^;matic interest of the Carlovingians was alone really 
acute, leading to new definitions, if not at once expressed in strictly dogmatic forms. 
To this subject also belongs the doctrine of the saints (Mary), relics, and indulgences. 

> See Bach, I.e. Walch, KeUerhistorie, Vol. IX. ; Hefele, Concil. Gesch. III.,* p. 
642 if. (628 ff.) ; Ilelfferrich, D. westgothische Arianismus u. die spanische Ketzer- 
geschichte i860 ; Gams, Kirchengesch. Spaniens, Vol. II. ; Domer, Entwickel. 
Gesch. Vol. II. ; Hauck, K. -Gesch. Deutschlands, Vol. II., p. 256 ; Opp. Alcuini 
ed. Froben ; Mansi, T. XII., XIII. ; Migne, T. XCVI.— CI. 

* Yet not yet everywhere. 


merits on the part of the man — by uniting with him to form a 
personal unity, and by thus adopting him to perfect sonship.' 
This scheme is distinguished ioio coelo from the Greek one 
(received in Rome) of the fifth Council, even if— as happened — 
the whole of human nature was also understood by the homo. 
For, according to the prevailing Greek conception, the God- 
Logos, in the moment of the Incarnation, so assumed human 
nature and received it into the unity of his being (tSioTroteiv), 
that it participated completely in the dignity, and accordingly 
in the sonsAifi, of the Son, the incarnate Logos thus being in 
every respect as much the one reed Son of God as the pre- 
existent To hold Jesus Christ as Son of Man to be merely the 
adopted Son of God destroyed, according to Greek ideas, the 
whole mystery of the Incarnation, and took the Church back to 
the abyss of Nestorianism. Conversely, it was possible for one 
who took his stand on Augustinian Christology to feel that the 
contention that the Son of Man was as essentially Son of God 
as the Logos, was a relapse into Docetism or even Pantheism — 
the fusion of divine and human. The great claim of Cyril's 
conception consisted in its maintenance of the perfect unity of 
the Redeemer's personality," the justification of the other in its 
adherence to Christ's real humanity. This humanity was to the 
opposite party in truth only a theorem^ whose avowal permitted 
them to deify in concreto everything human in Christ,3 while the 
Adoptians were only able to postulate the unity of the Son of 
God and Son of Man.* 

1 See Augustine's Christol<^ above, p. 127 ff. The idea of the adoptio of the man 
Jesus, or human nature, also occurs in Tertullian, Novatian, Marius Victorinus, and 

> So far as the retention of this is the condition of understanding Jesus Christ, the 
Greek conception is superior to the Adoptian. 

* The defenders of the anti- Adoptian Christology (Alcuin's) have not latered their 
tactics at the present day. Thus Bach says (l.c. I., p. 109 if.) : " The Adoptians had 
no presentiment of that which the (Greek) Fathers call the pneumatic quality of 
Christ's flesh. Christ's body is to them that of common human nature in every 
respect. In this kenotic (!!) we have the basis of Adoptian dualism. . . . Felix, like 
Elipandus, does not understand the pneumatic human nature in Christ." If these 
words suggest any meaning at all, they show that the modem historian of dogma is as 
honest a Docetic as the orthodox after Justinian's heart. 

' The case is precisely the same as in Christological conflicts generally from the 


It is the old antagonism of Monophysitism and Nestorianisxn, 
toned down, indeed, in phraseology, but not lessened in sub- 
stance — ^how could it be lessened ? It is not wonderful that it 
broke out once more after the sixth Council, and that in 
connection with the term "adoptio." It is only surprising 
that it arose at the outskirts of Christendom ; and that the 
controversy occasioned by it in the Church was so rapidly 
and thoroughly quieted. If we reflect that Augustine had 
unhesitatingly taught that Christ, on his human side, was 
the adopted Son of God and the supreme example of 
prevenient free grace (gratia gratis data praeveniens), that he 
was read everywhere, that many passages in the Western 
Fathers gave evidence of Adoptianism,^ and that even Isidore 
of Seville had written without being questioned : " he is called 
sole-begotten from the excellence of his divinity, because he is 
without brothers, first-begotten on account of t/u assumption of a 
many in which act he has deigned to have brothers by the adoption 
of gracCy with regard to whom he should be the first-begotten,'* * 
we are seized with astonishment at the secret, energetic counter- 
action of the Christological mysticism of Cyril and the 
Areopagite. It captivated thoughtful and superstitious 
Christians in Rome, and thence in England, Upper Italy, and 
France. It succeeded in doing so, because it was allied both 
with the philosophical speculation of the time and the super- 
stitious craving for mysteries. Plato and Aristotle, as they 
were understood, were its evangelists, and, again, every celebra- 
tion of the Lord's Supper, yea, every relic, was a silent missionary 
for it In this men experienced the identity of the heavenly and 
earthly ; accordingly, that identity had to be recognised above all 
in Christ himself. Thus the Western and Augustinian Christ- 
days of Apollinaris. There is right and wrong on both sides, but after all on neither, 
because the conception of a divine nature in Christ leads either to Docetism or the 
double personality. All speculations that seek to escape these consequences can 
display at most theit good intentions. 

^ This was bluntly asserted by Marius Victorinus (adv. Arium I. ) to whom is entirely 
due the Augustinian view of Christology sub specie pradestinaimiis. 

9 Migne, CI., p. 1322 sq. : *' Unigenitus vocatur secundum divinitatis excellentiam, 
quia sine fratribus, primogenitus secundum susceptionem hominis, in qua per adop- 
tionem gratise firatres habere dignatus est, de quibus esset primogenitus. " 


ology, with its last, and yet so significant, remnant of a historical 
view of Christ — his subjection to divine grace — was effaced, not 
by a conflict, but much n^ore certainly by a silent revolution.' 

3ut Augustinian Christology was advocated in Arabian Spain 
about A.D. 780 by Elipandus, Metropolitan of Toledo, and soon 
afterwards in Prankish Spain by Felix, Bishop of Urgel; it 
being also supported by the Mozarabian liturgy.' They strongly 
emphasised the view that Christ was adopted as man, and the 
redeemed were accordingly, in the fullest sense, brothers of the 
man Jesus. There has been a good deal of argument as to how 
the two bishops, who, for the rest, had the approval of the 
majority of their colleagues in Spain, were influenced thus to 
emphasise the adoptio. After what we have observed above we 
ought rather to ask why the other Western Bishops did not do 
the same. In any case, the hypothesis that this Adoptianism 
is to be explained from Ancient West Gothic Arianism 3 is still 
less tenable than its derivation from Arab influences/* Nor do 
we obtain much enlightenment from the reference to the con- 
troversy which Elipandus had previously waged with a heretic 
named Migetius,^ since the doctrines ascribed to him do not 
seem to have been the reverse of Adoptianism, while the whole 
figure is obscure.^ All that is clear is that at that date the 

1 Western Augustinian Christology, like Nestorianism, deserved its fall ; for since 
it taught that the God-Logos existed behind the man Jesus who was supported by 
divine grace, the relation of the work of redemption to that homo was extremely 
uncertain. The result was a duplicity of view which could only produce confusion, 
and which had to come to an end, until the conception of faith should be thoroughly 
accepted, unhampered by pernicious speculations as to the two natures, that God 
himself was in the man Jesu«. 

2 See the seven, though not equally valuable passages in Hefele, I.e., p. 650 f. : 
"adoptivi hominis passio" — "adoptivi hominis non horniisti vestimentum" — 
" salvator per adoptionem camis sedem repetiit deitatis," etc 

* So Helfierich, Lc. ; also Hauck, R.-Encyklop P., p. 185, leaves it open. 

* Gfrorer, K.-Gesch. III., p. 644 ffl Graf. Baudissin, Eulogius und Alvar 1872, 
p. 61 f. The traces cited of a connection between Elipandus and Felix with the 
Saracens are very slight ; besides, the objections felt by the latter to the doctrine of the 
Trinity are not lessened by Adoptianism. Elipandus defended the doctrine with 
peculiar emphasis. 

» Hefele, Op. cit., p. 628 flf. 

^ Besides his enthusiasm for Rome, Migetius' main heresy seems to have been that 
he conceived God strictly as a single person, and maintained that he had revealed 


Spanish Church possessed no connection with Rome, that it 
rejected the alliance sought by Hadrian I., and, while relatively 
uninfluenced by the Roman and Byzantine Church tradition/ 
was in a state of great confusion internally.' It is further 
evident that Elipandus gladly seized the opportunity to extend 
the sphere of his metropolitan power to Asturia under the sure 
protection of the unbelievers. A dogmatic Spanish formula was 

himself in three persons, namely, David (Father ?), Jesus, and Paul (the Holy Ghost ?). 
Besides this " Sabellianism," one mi^ht be tempted to discover " Priscillian " 
errors in him. But the slight information we possess (see Hadrian and Elipandus' 
letters) do not warrant a confident decision. 

1 This explains the uninterrupted prestige of Augustinian theology. Isidore of 
Seville, e,g, , felt it so strongly, that he even taught twofold predestination (Sentent. 
II. 6) : '* gemina predestinatio . . . sive reproborum ad mortem," 

* The comparatively slight influence exerted by the great main current of Church 
development is also shown by the fact that the opposition of the Spaniard Vigilantius to 
saints and relics continued to influence Spain, as is evidenced, e.g,^ by the attack made 
upon him by Faustus of Rhegium (see above, p. 244, note l). Paradoxical as it sounds, 
the veneration of these objects lay in the van of Church evolution, in so far as it was 
most closely connected with the development of Christology. Those who resisted 
this worship soon ceased to do so on evangelical grounds, but because ecclesiastically 
they were **la^ards." The dislike to relics and pictures, however, is as closely con- 
nected with the Adoptian theory, as their worship and the materialistic dogma of the 
Lord's Supper are with the Christology of Cyril, Justinian, and Alcuin (see under). 
But even after Reccared passed over to Catholicism, the Spanish Church showed its 
disorderly state, not only in the persistent mingling of Pagan and Christian morals, 
and (in some circles) the continuance of certain Arian leanings, but stfll more in 
numerous heretical intrigues. To this class belong Priscillianism, degenerated into 
dualism, Migetius, that Marcus who rejuvenated Basilidianism, and above all the sect 
of Bonosians that held its ground in Spain — phenomena that were profoundly opposed 
to Catholicism, and prove how hard it was for the rising Roman Catholic Church in 
Spain to adopt the sentiments of Roman Catholicism. No other Western Church 
had at this date still to strive so keenly with powerful heresies as the Spanish. Hence 
is explained the growth in this Church, especially after contact with Islam, of the 
cold, determined fanaticism of its orthodoxy and persecution of heretics. Wherever 
it arises, this is a sign that men have forced themselves after severe sacrifices to sub- 
mit to the sacred cause, and that they now seek to compensate themselves by making 
others do the same. As regards the sect of Bonosians in particular, their founder, 
Bonosus, Bishop of Sardica, advanced from a denial of Mary's perpetual virginity to 
tlie doctrine of Photinus (>ee the Synod of Capua, a.d. 391 ; Ambrose's letters, 
Siricius, and Innocent I., and Marius Mercator). Strange to say, he found adherents 
in South Gaul, and especially in Spain, up till into the eighth century ; in Spain, as it 
appears, they were numerous ; see the 2 Synod of Aries (443?) c. 17, Synod of Clichy 
(626) c. 5, Synod of Orleans (538) c. 31, Gennad. de vir. inl. 14, Avitus Vienn., 
Isidore de script, eccl. 20, de haer. 53. In the sixth century Justinian of Valentia 
opposed them in Spain, and in the seventh the Synod of Toledo (675), referred in 


^welcome to him as a means of doing this. It is probable, finally, 
that Latin translations of Nestorian writings (i>., of Theodore 
of Mopsuestia) were read in Spain. This cannot, indeed, be 
proved ; but there can be no doubt that Felix of Urgel gave a 
Nestorian {Theodoriati) development to Augustine's Chris tologyy 
and thus went beyond Augustine^ and it is on the other hand 
certain that from the sixth century Latin translations of works 
by Nestorian (and Syrian) writers were current in the West* 

Elipandus was a loyal adherent to the Augustinian and 
Chalcedonian Christology ; this is attested by his epistles ; see 
also the two books written against him by Beatus and Eterius of 
Asturia, as well as Alcuin's writings. He meant to maintain 
the unity of person throughout ; but this unity did not, in his 
view, do away with the strict distinction of natures. The human 
nature remained human, being thence raised to the dignity of 
divinity, and for this reason he held the term " adoptio " to be 
peculiarly fitting : " the son adoptive in his humanity but not in 

the Symbol to the doctrine of the Bonosians that Christ had only existed after Mary 
bore him, and was merely a filius adoptitmsy by confessing ; '* hie etiam filius dei 
natura est filius, non adoptione." Naturally Elipandus and Felix were conjoined by 
their opponents with the Bonosians, but with the greatest injustice ; they were rather 
their most implacable enemies, since they never denied that Christ as Son of God was 
Jilius dei ncUuralis, They even tried to hurl back the charge of Bonosianism at their 
enemies (Beatus and Eterius), an attempt, indeed, that could not succeed. It was at 
any rate prejudicial, seeing that men cling to catchwords, to place in the Toledan 
Symbol of 675 the words *' non filius adoptione," although by them the Photinian 
error, which Elipandus himself '* condemned to hell," was exclusively meant. We 
may, indeed, say of Bonosianism, but not of Elipandus' teaching, that iu circulation 
in Spain s explained by the Arian leanings of the Western Goths ; (or not only in 
the Arianism of scholarly theologians, but still more in its popular form, there lurked 
an element of the doctrine of Paul of Samosata and Photinu.s. 

1 Since the Three Chapter controversy. We have to remember, further, that Theo- 
dore's commentary on Paul's Epistles still exists in a Latin translation, and that the work 
of Junilius comes from a Syrian copy ; 2»ee Neander's Dogmengesch. IT., p« 25 f., and 
Jacobi's note there, p. 26 f. M oiler (Art. Adoptianism in Herzog'^ R.-E., 2nd VA.) has 
stated, on the basis of Gam's discoveries, a conjecture that is worth noting : *' Perhaps 
we ought to regard the orthodox brethren in Cordova extolled by Elipsindus (Ep. ad 
Felic. in Alcuin's letteis, ep. 123), who provided him with scholarly material, and to 
whom Alcuin (ep. ad Leidrad. 141) supposes the evil originally to have ()een due, 
as Eastern Christians of Nestorian culture who had come in the train of the Araljft, 
and who, if they did not produce, supported the Adoptian tendency." It is further 
important that Elipandus has not mentioned Nestorianism among the ancient heresies 
lejected by him. 


his divinity " (filius adoptivus humanitate nequaquam divinitate). 
Everyone in the West (even Alcuin) still spoke at that time of 
the dssumtio hominis^ and not merely of the assumtio humancd 
naturcB (assumption of a man not of human nature). It was a 
correct inference that assumtio ftominis^adoptio hominis. If the 
word " adoptio " was not exactly common in the more ancient 
literature,' the matter designated by it was correctly expressed 
in Augustine's sense." The sonship of Christ was therefore 
twofold ; as God he was son by race and nature (genere et 
natura), as man by adoption and grace. Elipandus quoted 
texts in support of this, and inferred quite correctly that he 
who disputed the Redeemer's adoptio had to deny the reality 
of his human nature, and consequently to suppose that Christ 
derived his humanity, which would be unlike ours, from the 
substance of the Father. Elipandus therefore designates his 
opponents Docetics or Eutychians. 

If we find that even he was interested really in Christ's com- 
plete humanity ^r//w work*s sake^ the same fact shows much more 
clearly in the important case of Felix (see the writings directed 
against him by Paulinus and Alcuin). He has also left the 
God-Logos resting in the background ; but his theory of religion 
deals with the second Adam in a way that had not been heard 
of in the Church since the days of Theodore. Since the Son of 
Man was actually a man, the whole stages of his humiliation 
were not voluntarily undertaken, but were necessary. It was 
only the resolve of the Son of God to adopt a man that was 
freely made. After this resolve was realised the Son of Man had 
to be a servant^ had to be subject to the Father in everything, 
had to fulfil his will and not his own. Like all men he was only 
good so far as, and because, he was subject to the Father's grace ; 
he was not omniscient and omnipotent, but his wisdom and 
power were bounded by the limits imposed on humanity. He 
derived his life from the Father, and to him he also prayed for 

1 Alcuin sa^ too much when he exclaims (adv. Elip, IV. 2) : '* Ubi latuit, ubi 
dormivit hoc nomen adoptionis vel nuncupationis de Christo ? *' or Ep. 1 10 : " Novitas 
vocum in adoptione, nuncupatione, omnino 6delibus omnibus detestanda est." 

* Compare how also Facundus of Hermiane (pro defens. trium capp. p. 708, ed. 
Paris, 1616, II.) acknowledges that Christ accepted the '* Sacrament of Adoption.'* 


himself.^ Felix's final interest consisted in the fact that only 
thus can we be certain of our adoption. He insisted very strongly 
on raising to the central place in the conception of redemption 
the thought that the adoption of believers is only certain if 
Christ adopted a man like other men, or humanity : we are only 
redeemed if Christ is our oldest brother. The assurance of the 
redemption of humanity rests, as with Augustine, on the sole- 
begotten (in the divine sphere) having united with himself the 
first- begotten (in the human) [" adoptivi cum adoptivo, servi cum 
servo, Christi cum Christo, deus inter deos " ]. Christ, who as 
man was sacrificed for sakes, was the head of humanity, not by 
his divinity, but by his humanity. For this very reason the 
members are only certain of their adoption if the head is 
adopted.* If we are not dealing in Christ's case with an 
adoption as in our own, the then Incarnation was enacted 
outside of our sphere, and is of no benefit to us. But Felix 
went a step farther. He did not, like Augustine, satisfy himself 
with stopping at the simple contention that the man (homo) 
Christ was adopted in virtue of the prevenient grace of pre- 
destination, and with combining, by a mere assertion, this con- 
tention with the thesis of personal unity. On the contrary he 
rigidly separated the natures, and sought to form a clear idea of 
the way in which the adoption was accomplished (see the 

As regards the first point, he applied the phrase " true and 
peculiar son" (verus et proprius filius) to the God-Logos alone, 
and did not shrink from the proposition " the son is believed one 
in two forms" (duobus modis unus creditur filius); he dis- 
tinguished between " the one " and " the other " {alter and cUter)^ 
" this one " and " that " (ilk and ille\ nay, he called the Son of 
Man " God by adoption " {nuncupativus deus : meaning that he 
became God). He speaks, like the Antiochenes, of a " dwelling " 
of God in man, of the man who is united (conjunctus ; appli- 
catus) with deity, or bears deity. He has, indeed, compared the 
union of the two natures in Christ with the relation of soul and 
body ; but the figure is still more inapt from his standpoint than 

1 See passages cited by Bach, 0pp. cit, p. iio ff. 

* The clearest passages— Felix's own words— occur in Agobaid, lib. adv. Fel. 27-37. 


from Augustine's ; for the community of attributes is to him 
not real, but nominal, and " we must by no means believe that 
the omnipotent divine Father, who is a spirit, begets the body 
from himself" (nullo modo credendum est, ut omnipotens deus 
pater, qui spiritus est, de semetipso carnem generet). The man 
Christ has two fathers, one natural (David), and the other by his 

With reference to the second point, Felix taught that the 
Son of Man underwent two births : he was bom of the virgin — 
that was his natural birth, and of grace or adoption in baptism — 
his spiritual birth Christ, accordingly, like all Christians, ex- 
perienced a twofold birth. His spiritual birth, as indispensable 
for him as for the rest, was accomplished, as in every other case, 
in baptism ; but in this instance also baptism was only the 
beginning. It was not completed till the Resurrection.* As 
the Son of Man, therefore, was subject to the different stages of 
divine grace arising from his election, he was also originally, 
though sinless," the "old man" (vetus homo), and passed 
through the process of regeneration until he reached complete 
adoption — undergoing everything that and as we do. But we 
follow the Head, and it is only because he experienced this that 
he can be our redeemer and intercessor. For the rest, it is 
besides to be held that the Son of God also accepted human 
birth for himself, as in that case he is further to be conceived as 
sharing in all the acts of the Son of Man.3 

Elipandus had given currency to his teaching in letters. His 

1 Alcuin adv. Felic. II. 1 6 (Felix says): '^Christus qui est secundus Adam, 
accepit has geminas generationes, primam vid. quae secundum carnem est, secundam 
vero spiritualem, quae per adoptionem fit, idem redemptor noster secundum hominem 
•complexus in semetipso continet : primam vid. quam suscepit ex viigine nascendo, 
secundam vero quam iniHavit in lavacro a mortuis resurgendo." 

^ Alcuin indeed does not believe that Felix was sincere in professing to hold the 
sinle^sness of Christ, for, if he had been, he would not have spoken of a regeneration 
of Christ (I.C., c. 1 8). 

8 Felix's words in Agobard 33 : ** Propter singularitatem personae, in qua divinitas 
fiUidei cum humanitate sua communes habeat actiones, qua ex causa aliquandoea quae 
divina sunt referuntur ad humana, et ea quae humana fiunt interdum adscribuntur ad 
•divina, et hoc ordine aliquando dei filius in hominis filio filius hominis appellari dig- 
natur et hominis filius in dei filio filius dei nuncupafur." The Nestorians, too, main- 
tained such a double personality. 


first opponents were the Abbot Beatus and the youthful Bishop 
Eterius. Their opposition inflamed the anger of the ageing 
Metropolitan, jealous of his orthodoxy. All who refused to see 
in the two natures more than one filius proprius he called 
** servants of Antichrist " (A.D. 785). Those he attacked, how- 
ever, did not keep silent, but exposed the heretical character of 
Adoptianism in an elaborate document ; they also noted the 
fact that the controversy had already excited the Bishops of all 
Spain, and had extended into France,' Hadrian I. entered into 
the dispute at this time. He could not but welcome the chance 
of proving to the Spanish Metropolitan, whose independence 
rendered him obnoxious, that he had fallen into the heresy of 
Nestorius, and that the Spanish Bishops were therefore bound 
to adhere to the teaching of Rome and the Fathers." 

Soon afterwards Felix of Urgel energetically championed the 
thesis laid down by Elipandus. Thereby the question at issue 
became important for the kingdom of the Franks. The Synod 
of Regensburg (792), whose transactions are unfortunately lost, 
was convened to deal with Adoptianism. Felix himself required 
to appear. He defended himself before Charlemagne,3 but is 

^ See the analysis of this writing in Bach, p. 1 16 ff. It follows Cyril. The old 
charge formerly made against the Nestorians is also urged against the Adoptians, that 
by making the Son of Man independent they expanded the Trinity into a Quatemity. 
A few Western reminiscences are, however, not wanting, although the human nature is 
substantially conceived to be the impersonal caro ; see e.g.^ II. 68, where ihtjilius se- 
cundum camem is named as mediator (" reconciliati sumus per solum filium secundum 
carnem, sed non soli filio secundum divinitatem ") ; abo II. 40 : *' dominus ac 
redemptor noster cum sancta ecclesia, quam redemit secundum camem, una substantia 


'Ep. 97 in the Cod. Carol, in Migne, T. CII., see analysis in Hefele III., p. 661 
fT. , which is also to be compared with what follows. 

>In the controversy the King proved that he felt fully his lesponsibility as a 
Christian ruler, and was at the same time thoroughly anxious to be just. He was 
really convinced by the propositions of his theologians. They extolled him highly as 
protector of the faith, as a David and a Solomon. Alcuin says of the King (adv. 
Elipand. I. 16) : " Catholicus in fide, rex in potestate, pontifex in praedicatione, judex 
in aequitate, philosophus in liberalibus studiis, inclytus in moribus (?) et omni honestate 
praecipuus." Ep. 100 ad dominimi regem : ** hoc mirabile et speciale in te pietatis 
dei donum pnedicamus, quod tanta devotione ecclesias Christi a perfidorum doctrinis 
intrinsecus purgare tuerique niteris, quanta forinsecus a vastatione paganorura defen- 
dere vel p:opagare conaris. His duobus gladiis vestram venerandam excellentiam 
dextra Isevaque divina armavit potestas." 


said to have ultimately recanted, since all the Bishops declared 
his teaching to be erroneous. The recantation is, indeed, sup- 
ported by several witnesses, but is not placed beyond doubt, for 
we hear that Feh'x was sent to Rome, and was kept in prison 
by the Pope until he yielded to swear to an orthodox confession. 
He now returned to Spain (to his bishopric ?) but soon renounced 
his forced recantation, and withdrew to Toledo in Saracen 
territory, in order to escape the censorship of the Franks. 
Alcuin's attempt to recover for the Church its highly prized 
bishop by means of a very friendly letter that breathed Augus- 
tine's spirit (a.D. 793) perhaps crossed the effort made by the 
heads of the Adoptianists to maintain their teaching in the 
Church by an encyclical to the Bishops of the Prankish kingdom, 
and a letter to Charlemagne, which took the form of a remon- 
strance, and contained a petition for a new investigation. 
Elipandus always regarded the " sleek '* Beatus as the chief 
enemy, who had instilled his poison into the Church and seduced 
the Bishops. He adjures the King to judge justly ; to reinstate 
Felix, and be warned by Constantine's revolt to Arianism. 
The heresy that through Beatus now threatened the whole 
Church was nothing less than the denial that Christ received 
his body from the Virgin. At the brilliant Synod of Frankfurt, 
Charlemagne, after reporting to the Pope, set on foot a new 
investigation (794). Learned bishops and theologians were 
summoned from all quarters. The assembly rejected Adop- 
tianism in two Synodal deeds — the Italian Bishops under 
Paulinus of Aquileia voted separately. The same course was 
followed by a Synod assembled contemporaneously at Rome. 
All these resolutions were transmitted, along with a letter of his 
own, by Charlemagne to Elipandus. 

We are not interested in following the controversy further, 
for new phases did not appear. But we have the impression 
that Adoptianism made advances in Saracen Spain and the 
neighbouring province until about A.D. 799. Even the personal 
influence of famous doctors (Benedict of Aniane, Leidrad of 
Lyons) met at first with little success. But Frankish Spain 
could not resist the influence of the whole empire, and Felix 
himself was ultimately induced once more to recant at the 


Synod of Aachen (799). At this date, besides Paulinus,^ Alcuin 
was indefatigable in producing works, some of them extensive, 
against the heresy (Libell. adv. Felic. har., IV. lib. adv. Elip* 
andum, VII. lib. adv. Felic). It is interesting to notice how 
this Anglo-Saxon, the disciple of Bede, was entirely dependent 
in his Christology on the Greeks, and had abandoned the 
Augustinian tradition. Augustine as well as Graeco-Roman 
speculative theology had become domesticated in England 
through the Romanising of that country. But in those questions 
on which the Greeks had pronounced their views, they were ever 
regarded as the more honourable, reliable, and learned. They 
were the representatives of the sublime theology of the mystery 
of the Incarnation." The Latins were only after all to be 
considered in so far as they agreed with the Greeks. How 
great is the imposing prestige and power of an ancient culture, 
and how cogent is every " advance " that it experiences, even if 
that advance passes imperceptibly into a refinement which 
produces a new barbarianism ! Alcuin's arguments might have 
occurred just as well in the works of Cyril, Leontius, or John of 
Damascus, and they are sometimes actually to be found there 
word for word : — Christ is the personal God-Logos who assumed 
impersonal human nature, and fused it into the complete unity 
pf his being. Accordingly, even apart from sin, Christ's human- 
ity was by no means like ours in all points, but was very 
different. Since it acquired all the attributes of deity, all 
human limitations shown in the life of Jesus were voluntarily 
accepted, in other words were due to accommodation, were 
pedagogic or illusory. Alcuin dissipates the records of the 
gospels as thoroughly as the Monophysite and Crypto-Mono- 
physite Greeks. This form of piety had ceased to regard Christ, 
in any sense as a human person ; nay, it felt itself gravely hurt 
if it was told that it ought to suppose a really human conscious- . 
ness in Christ. Not only was the dismemberment of the one 
Christ disowned as blasphemous, but still more the application 
to him of categories that were held to describe believers.^ In 

1 See on his polemics, Bach, p. 121 fil 
' This is true above all of Cyril. 

* See the analysis of Alcuin's Christology in Bach, p. 128 fF. Alcuin seeks to show 



fact, we are correct in saying that faith in Christ as Redeemer 
had no interest in expounding broadly wherein Christ is like us.* 
But the Adoptians had, consistently with this likeness, which 
they asserted, characterised him as /lead of the community, 
and demonstrated a way in which the man Christ could be 
apprehended as redeemer and intercessor.* But then, as now, 

(i) that all the statements of Scripture and the Fathers r^arding Christ have for thor 
subject the concrete person in two natures ; (2) that the notion of adoption occurs 
neither in Scripture nor the Fathers, and is thus novel and false ; and (3) that the 
Adoptianist theory is inconsistent, and upsets the basis of faith. He tries to show that 
adoptuf, if taken to mean anything different from assumpiio, leads to heresy. Assump- 
tion is held to express the natural relation in which humanity is connected with 
deity by the Incarnation, and which is annulled by the adoptio that designates a 
relation due to grace. Alcuin indeed also speaks (following Ai^iistine) of grace 
having been in Christ, for it does not, like adoptio^ exclude the natural relation of 
sonship. But his strongest argument consists in his explanation that passive adoption 
was impossible, because the Son of Man did not exist at all before he was actual Son 
of God. Neither he nor Paulinus supposes that the man Christ was a person before 
the God-man. He certainly possessed his personality from the first in the Son of 
God. Accordingly, if we think abstractly, we may not conceive of a man (homo) 
Christ who existed before the Incarnation, but of human nature, which only became 
personal by its assumption, and was at once made an essential constituent of the 
person of the God-man. Therefore this nature, even apait from sin, was infinitely 
superior to and unlike ours. Therefore the doctrine of the Agnoetes, who had be- 
sides been already strongly assailed by Gregory I. in his letters, was to be condemned; 
and the servile form of the Son of God was in every respect worthy of adoration, 
because it was not necessary to his nature, but was at every point freely undertaken. 
Accordingly Christ required neither baptism nor adoption, and even as man was no 
ordinary creature, but always the God-man. " In spite of the assumption of human 
nature, the God -man retained sole property in the person of the .Son." Humanity 
was merely added like something impersonal to this unity of person of the Son of 
God, ** and there remained the same property in two natures in the name of the Son 
that formerly existed in one substance." But Alcuin adds very inaptly (c. Felic II. 
12) : *' in adsumtione carnis a deo persona perit hominis, non natura ; " for he 
certainly did not assume that a '* persona hominis " had existed previously. We can 
only explain this lapse by supposing that Alcuin had not yet let Cyril's Christology 
expunge from his mind every reminiscence of Augustine's. Bach rightly remarks 
(p. 136 f. : against Domer) **that no opponent of the Adoptians imagined that per- 
sonality was essential to the completeness of the human nature ; (like Bach himselO 
they taught exactly the opposite." Bach's own explanation of the above passage, 
which is only intelligible as a lapse, is, for the rest, wholly incorrect, ^y persona he 
would understand " the person of man as such, of kumanitas^ and not of the man 

I Epist. ad Carol. M. : ** Quid enim prodest ecclesiae dei (Thristum appellarc 
adoptivum filium vel deum nuncupativum ? " 

> The explanations given by Felix as to the man Christ as sacerdos^ sacrificium^ 


no one who had once been initiated into the mysteries was 
influenced by this. He who has once but sipped the intoxicating 
cup of that mysticism, which promises to transform every worth- 
less stone into gold, sees everywhere the mystery of deification, 
and then it is not easy for the watchman to recall the dreamer 
to life.' For this is the last motive of this speculation : from the 
transformation of the impersonal human substance into the divine 
{in the case of Christ) to derive the divino-human means of 
enjoyment in this world. Even in the instance of Beatus, the 
realistic conception of the Lord's Supper turns out to be a 
decisive motive against Adoptianism,' and this motive can also 
be demonstrated in Alcuin's works.* Thus the Christological 
controversy is closely connected with the magical conceptions 
of the Lord's Supper as the centre of Church doctrine and 
practice. It is all the more instructive that, as we shall see, 
images were not yet thought of, while the East had long had 
them in view, as well as the Lord's Supper, in connection with 
its Crypto-Monophysite Christology. In this matter the Anglo- 
Saxon and Prankish Church still " lagged " behind its guide. 

caput ecclesia are Augustinian, and in part more precise than they occur in Augustine. 
The part played in the controversy by the thought of Christ as head of the Church is 
worthy of note. We are not prepared for it, if we start from the more ancient 
tradition. The greater emphasis laid on Christ as priest and sacrifice was already 
determined by the all-prevailing reference to the Mass. 

^ Adoptianism, like Nestorianism, necessarily remained a half thing, because it did 
not correct this pseudo-Christian motive. This is the ultimate cause of its speedy 
death. Adoptianism and the Eucharistic Christ do not suit each other. 

* See Bach, p. 1 19 f. Beatus has pointed out, like Cyril, that the concrete unity of 
Christ's person is shown most clearly in the fact that in the Lord's Supper the whole 
Christ is adored, and that his flesh is the principle of eternal life. Bach (p. 120) has 
eloquently evolved as his own view the cause for which the opponents of the 
Adoptians ultimately contended. ** Beatus and Eterius, in opposition to the exter- 
nality of Elipandus, pointed with a profoundly realistic glance to the central signifi- 
cance of Christ in the collective ethical and sacramental constitution of Christianity; 
and the morally free life of humanity. The organic and physical relation of Christ 
to humanity, and iht physiology oi gc^ct in its inner relation to human freedom, which 
has its living roots in the concrete God-man, are hereby indicated. A divided Christ 
cannot be a new physical etYiical /^mctil of life to mankind. " This materialistic ghost 
unfortunately also announces its presence in Protestant Christianity. 

* With him and Paulinus, only indeed in unimportant hints, wherefore Bach calls 
Paulinus '* less profoimd and thorough *' than Beatus. How the speculation reached 
the latter is not known. 


Felix secluded himself with Leidrad in Lyons, The re- 
conversion of the Prankish Adoptians now made great strides, 
and Felix himself had to exhort his congregation to abandon 
the error which he had formerly taught them. But he was by^ 
no means thoroughly convinced at heart, as is shown by papers 
found, after the death of the unfortunate Bishop, by Leidrad'% 
successor, Agobard. Agobard held it necessary to refute the 
dead Felix. If aggressive Adoptianism soon expired in the 
Frankish kingdom, it was revived by the daring dialectic of the 
eleventh and twelfth centuries as a doctrine of the schools,* and 
it afterwards continued during all centuries of the Middle Ages» 
though without rousing more than a theological dispute. Little 
is known of how the "heresy" gradually died out in Saracen. 
Spain. Even in the time of Elipandus it did not escape censure. 
It still had power to attract about A,D. 850 ; " but then there came 
times when it was necessarily worth more to Christian Spaniards 
to feel that they were in agreement with the whole Church than 
to defend the legitimacy of a distinctive position. 

The decisive result of the whole controversy was that the 
West set aside its own earlier Christological system, and — for 
the sake of the Lord's Supper and the imposing tradition of the 
Greeks — thought like the latter within the sphere of dognm. 
Christ's unity was maintained ; but this unity absorbed his 
humanity, and removed far off the dread incarnate Son of God 
(dei filius incamatus tremendus). Strict dogmatic only per- 
mitted him to be approached in the Lord's Supper. But that 
did not prevent the vision of the lowly Man of Sorrows con- 
tinuing, still secretly at first, to make its way side by side with 
dogmatic theory, that vision that had dawned upon Augustine, 
and was in ever-increasing vividness to form the strength of 
piety in the future. 

§ I. {b\ Tlie Controversy as to Predestination.^ 
The revival of theological science in the ninth century led, 

X See Bach, II., p. 390 flf. 

s See the letters of Alvar, Bandissin, l.c. Bach I., p. 146 jff. 

s Sources, collected by the JaDsenist Maugin, Veterum aurt. qui IX. saec. de 


to a thorough study of Augustine. But the theology of 
Gregory I. had already accustomed men to combine the 
formulas of Augustinianism with the Pelagianism required by 
the system of the cultus. Hence a renewal of the controversy 
,would hardly have taken plac^ had not the monk Gottschalk 
of Orbais asserted the doctrine of predestination with as much 
energy as Augustine had done in his latest writings, and had 
he not been opposed by Hinkmar, whom his jealous colleagues 
would gladly have charged with heresy. It was not his use of 
Augustinian formulas that lifted Gottschalk out of the mass of 
theologians, and gave a startling effect to his confession. It 
was the fact that the doctrine of predestination had become the 
strength and support of his being after a misspent life. Here 
again it is palpable that words are not everything, that they 
remain a tinkling cymbal as long as they are not the expression 
of experience. Many joined and followed Gottschalk in speak- 
ing as he did at the time ; but he alone was persecuted as a 
heretical teacher, because the opposition felt that he alone was 
dangerous to their Church system. 

Gottschalk's teaching regarding predestination was not 
different, either in matter or form, from that of Augustine, 
Fulgentius, and Isidore ;^ but it must also be said that he taught 
nothing but predestination. With the devotion, at first of 
resignation, and afterwards of fanaticism, he committed himself 
to the hands of God who does all things according to his good 
pleasure, and does nothing without having determined it irre- 
vocably from the beginning. Predestination is the content of 

pxaedest. et gratia scripsenint, Paris 1650 ; see the works of Carlovingian theologians 
.in the time of Charles the Bald, Mansi, T. XIV. and XV.; Gfrorer, Gesch. der Karol. 
Vbl. I., and K. -Gesch., Vol III. 2 ; Dummler, Gesch. des ostfrank. Reichs, Vol. I. ; 
Ilauck, K. -Gesch. Deutschlands, Vol. II. : Wiggers in the Ztschr. f. d. hist Theol. 
1859 ; Weizsacker in the Jahrbb. f. deutsche Theol. 1859 ; Heftle, Concil. -Gesch, 
IV"., p. 130 ff. ; Bach, Op. cit. I., p. 219 ff ; Reuter l.c. I., p. 43 ff ; Borrasch, Der 
Monch Gottschalk, 1868; Monographs on Hinkmar by v. Noorden and Schrors; 
Frey$tedt, Der wissensch. Kampf im Pradest.-Streit des 9 Jahrh. ; also, Der synodale 
Kampf im Pradest.-Streit des 9 Jahrh. (Ztschr. f. wissensch. Theol. Vol. 36, pp. 
315.368 ; New Series, Vol. I., pp. 447-478), and Studien zu Gottschalk (Ztschr. f. K. 
Gesch., Vol XVIII., p. i ff.). 

I Gottschalk is especially dependent on Fulgentius. On Isidore's doctrine of 
predestination, see Wiggers, Ztschr. f. d. hist. Theol. 1855 ; dn Bede's, l.c. 1857. 


the Gospel, is the object of faith. It is the truth — that twofold 
predestination to life and death, according to which eternal 
life is decreed for the good, and death for the sinner, in which, 
therefore, some are appointed to life, and the rest to death. 
Nothing is to be set aside that the Church elsewhere. teaches, 
or that it does ; but it is a revolt from the Gospel to obscure in 
the hearts of men the certainty of this eternal unchangeable 
dispensation of divine grace — for justice and punishment are 
also good. Until his death Gottschalk defended inflexibly this 
faith of his, in the living and original language of the convinced 

But what did the historical Christ, or the Christ of the sacra- 

mentally ordered Church, mean here? If the hidden God with 

his hidden will was a comfort to Gottschalk, then that comfort 

consisted in the assurance that this God had also predestinated 

some to life, and the assurance flowed from the economy which 

culminated in Christ. For from what other source was it 

known that eternal predestination also embraced the pardon of 

a section of mankind ? The assurance of the individual gained 

nothing by this ; but among the opposition also no one would 

have anything to do with certainty of salvation ; the individual 

did not count for much to himself or others. Individualism 

was not yet developed. Christ accordingly was not in question. 

Even the resolute defender of predestination looked to him 

when he thought of election to life. But the system of the 

Sacraments, legal demands and works, which constituted the 

Church itself, tottered, as it must always totter, wherever 

religion is recalled from externality to the inner life. This 

recall was accomplished in a much more abstract way in the 

present instance than by Augustine. The most profound of 

the African's expositions on liberating grace and the blessed 

necessity of goodness (beata necessitas boni), which form the 

1 On Gottschalk*s life till the outbreak of the dispute, see Hefele, l.c. The 
Augustinian spirit, and*Augustine*s language in the Confessio prolixior (Migne, CXXI., 
P» 349) • "Tui profecto sic semper indigent omnes electi tui, quo videlicet tibi dc te 
solo semper valeant placere. Quemadmodum palmites indigent vite, quo fnictum 
queant ferre, vel aSr aut oculi luce, quo vel ille lucidus esse vel illi possint videre. . . . 
te igilur supplex invoco . . . ut largiaris indigentissimo mihi/^^fl/«iV<y^Tr«/ftjp A/«r 
iftuictissimani vtriutem, etc.** 


background of the doctrine of predestination, do not tell 
strongly upon Gottschalk. Nor had the Prankish monk been 
able to appropriate the Neoplatonic speculation, that had been 
toned down or transferred to a wholly different sphere of ideas 
by Augustine's teaching. And, again, he did not know the 
dialectic of the notion of time, which is inseparable from 
Augustine's conception. Yet he was not unfamiliar with 
dialectics ; indeed, if we may trust the accounts given us, he 
at first took pleasure in the problem on dialectical grounds ; but 
the fire he played with afterwards mastered him. The subject 
matter itself became precious to him. It corresponded to his 
own mood, ever growing gloomier, and he championed it with 
the zeal of the missionary. It was not original fiin, or sin that 
he regarded as the chief subject, but the unchangeableness and 
wisdom of God. He was a theologian in the narrowest sense 
of the term. 

Gottschalk was first opposed by Rabanus in his letters to 
Noting and Eberard — shortly before A.D. 848." He was accused 
of teaching that right faith and good works were of no avail to 
him who was not appointed to salvation, and that God forced 
men to sin and perdition (invitum hominem facit peccare).* 
Other opponents soon arose, and it was declared that he taught 
a predestination to sin. At the Council of Mainz (848) Rabanus 
got him condemned,3 and handed over, by command of King 
Lewis, to Hinkmar to whose province as monk he belonged.* Inhis 
letter to Hinkmar, Rabanus declares a predestination as regards 
wickedness to be simply erroneous, and he is able to tell already 
of people, who, seduced by Gottschalk, gave up pious practices 

^ See Opp. Kaban. in Migne, CXII., p. 1530 sq., Kunstmann, Rabanus Magnentius 
Maunis 184 1. 

* The view of Rabanus himself, that great, pure, truly pious and unpolitical prince 
of the Church, was Semi- Pelagian. 

s Fragment of a confession of Gottschalk laid before the Synod in Hinkmar, De 
piaedesL 5, Migne, CXXV., p. 89 sq. (Hefele, p. 138) : '*gemina prwdestinatio . . . 
similiter omnino omnes reprobos, qui daninabuntur propter ipsorum mala meritn, in- 
commutabilis deus per justum judicium suum incommutabiUtcr pnedestinavit ad 
mortem merito sempiternam." 

« Migne, CXII.,p. 1574. 


because, forsooth, they were wholly useless/ Hinkmar got the 
judgment against the "miserable monk" repeated at an imperial 
synodal diet at Chiersey (849). He was deposed from his office, 
scourged, and rendered harmless in prison.' Neither Rabanus 
nor Hinkmar seems at first to have formed as yet any idea of 
the difficulty of the whole question — caused by the authority of 
Augustine and other Fathers. Hinkmar contented himself with 
referring God's prescience to good or evil, but predestination to 
goodness alone.^ But the position of the case soon changed. 
Gottschalk composed two confessions, in which he stated his 
teaching, supporting it from Scripture and the Fathers,* and he 
also wrote essays in which he emphasised the particularism of 
Christ's saving work,* subordinating the latter strictly to the 
premundane decree of God. He also, in a letter to Amolo, gave 

« Op. cit. 

s Hincm. De praedest. 2; Mi^e, CXXV., p. 85 ; cf. Migne, CXXI, p. 1027. 

3 Hinkmar's large works on the question in dispute were not written till several years 
later ; (yet see the writing Ad reclusos et simplices, A.D. 849-50; Gundlach in the 
Ztschr. fur K.-Gesch., Vol. X.,p. 258 ff. ; Freystedt, I.e. p. 32off., 358ff.). The first 
in three books (856 and 857) was so extensive, that it was not transcribed, and so has 
perished (see Schr5rs, p. 136 f. ). The second, De praedestinatione dei et libera arbitrio, 
was also prolix enough and very meaningless (written S59 to 860, Schrors, p. 141 ff.). 
In the introduction to this work, the history of the sect of predestinationists, which is 
said to have risen even in St. Augustine's lifetime, is described in a very unhistorical 
fashion. The sect has now revived, and its newer members adheie to Fulgentius, who 
never enjoyed a lofty prestige in the Church (c 3, 8, 13). Hinkmar's main proposition 
is that predestination to punishment embraces compulsion to commit sin. *' Praescivic 
deus hominem ad poenam." Accordingly there is only a predestination of, not fa^ 

< ^ Migne, CXXI., pp. 347-349: ''Confiteor, deum omnipotentem et incommutabitem 
pra^scisse et prsedestinasse angelos sanctos et homines electos ad vitam gratis astemam, 
trt ipsum diabolum . . . cum ipsis quoque hominibus reprobis . . . propter praescita 
certissime ipsorum propria futura mala merita praedestinasse pariter per justissimum 
judicium suum in mortem merito sempitemam." *' Credo siquidem atque con fiteor 
pi^escisse teante saecula qmecunque erant futuia, sive bona sive mala, praedestinasse vero 
tantummodo bona. Bona autem a te praedestinata bifariam sunt tuis a fidelibus in- 
dagata . . . ue. in gratis beneficia et justitue simul judicia . . . Frustra electis 
prsedestinasses vitam, nisi et illos praedestinasses ad ipsam. Sic etiam . . . omnibus 
quoque reprobis hominibus perennem merito pnedestinasti poenam, et eosdem similiter 
pfsedestinasti ad earn, quia nimirum sine causa et ipsis prapdestinasses mortis perpetwe 
poena m, nisi et ipsos praedest inasses ad eam : non enim irent, nisi destinati, neque 
profecto destinarentur, nisi essent praedestinati." From Gottschalk's standpoint both 
confessions are conciliatory. 

B Gottschalk frequently maintained that Christ did not die for the reprobi^ though 

CHAP, vl] the predestination controversy. 297 

expression to the particularly objectionable principle "that 
baptism and the other sacraments were given in vain to those 
who perished after receiving them ; " for " those of the number 
of the faithful who perish were never incorporated in Christ and 
the Church." ' But it was perceived in the more cultured South, 
apart from Mainz and Rheims, that it was not Gottschalk but 
his opponents who diverged from Augustine's teaching. The 
best theologians ranged themselves on the side of the Confessor 
^.^., Prudentius of Troyes, Ratramnus of Corbie, then also the 
learned and acute Lupus of Ferridres,* the priest Servatus 
Lupus and Remigius of Lyons, for the most part disciples of 

There now began a lively theological controversy (849-50), 
which was not, however, violent enough to involve the rest of the 
Church and the Pope, and which was unspeakably unsatisfactory, 
because staunch Augustinians neither could nor would abandon 
the ruling ecclesiastical system, and had therefore to seek for com- 
promises where Gottschalk's results endangered it, and because 
the Prankish Semi-Pelagians soon saw that they would have to 
approximate their phraseology to Augustinianism. Among the 
writings in defence of Gottschalk there were accordingly many 
shades of opinion, but so were there also on the other side.* 
Florus Magister, e.g., advocated the twofold (gemina) prede- 
stination, but yet opposed Gottschalk, since he rejected the 
thought of the irresistibleness of grace.* Amolo of Lyons 
treated him in a friendly spirit; but no one else showed 
so emphatically that Gottschalk's teaching did away with the 
historical redemption, the fruits of Christ's death, and sacra-- 

he taught a certain general redemption of all the baptised ; see Htncm. De praed. 
29» 34f 35 5 Migne, CXXV., p. 289 sq., 349 sq., 369 sq. 

1 Hefele, p. 169 : *' baptistum et alia sacramenta frustatorie eis dari, qui post eorum 
perceptionem pereunt ; " for '* qui ex numero fidelium pereunt, Christo et ecclesiae 
nunquam fuerunt incorporati." 

> See Freystedt, l.c., p. 329 ff. 

3 Bach (I., p. 232 ff.) has analysed and discussed the various writings of these men. 

4 Men at that time disputed about predestination, just as " positive '* theologians 
to-day quarrel among themselves about the right of historical criticism. Some defend 
this right, others would restrict or abolish it ; but even the former don't really believe 
in it, since they take care not to carry out its conclusions. 

B Bach, I., p. 240. 


mental graces The only one who took up a consistent stand- 
point, and from it opposed the monk, was John Scotus. His 
teaching did not rest on Augustine's doctrine of predestination 
but on the Neoplatonic and Augustinian ontology, which 
he developed boldly. According to this, evil and death were 
nothing. Unchangeable being had only one unchangeable 
will, namely itself, and it evolved itself alone. Everything else 
consisted in negation, was nothing actual, and bore this very 
not-being in itself as a punishment. Applying this to the ques- 
tion of predestination, it followed that those were right who 
would only admit one predestination." But friend and foe felt, 
without seeing through the pantheism of Scotus, that this was a 
Case of casting out the devil by the aid of Beelzebub (" com- 
mentum diaboli "), There was only one way out of the 
difficulty besides that given by Scotus. This was to give up 
altogether putting the question in the form of the predestination 
problem, to hold to the historical Christ, and to do justice to 
Augustine's doctrine of grace by reducing the Church system 
to the experience of the new birth and faith. But no one dis- 
covered this expedient,3 and so the whole controversy neces- 
sarily became a maze of insincerity, partly objective, partly 
conscious. Augustine's authority, however, was so power- 
ful that the result, if we may speak of such a thing, came 
nearer Gottschalk's teaching in words than to the original utter- 
ances of Rabanus and his comrades (of whom Pardulus also 
was one). The latter sought to carry their distinction between 
prescience and predestination (as regards evil and punishment), 
and would therefore have nothing said of persons being predes- 
tined to punishment. When God foresaw evil, he predestined 
punishment for those who should not deserve to be redeemed 
by grace ; room, accordingly, is left indirectly to free-will, al- 
though, so far as words go, the saved are saved solely in virtue 
of election. The artificial distinction here made (predestination 

1 Bach, I., p. 241 fi. 

B De divina prsedest. Migne, CXXII., p. 355 sq. The Synods at Valenda and 
Langres (859) condemned the work, after Prudentius and Florus Magister bad written 
against iL 

s Amolo came nearest it. 


of life and of the good, prescience of the wicked, predestination 
of punishment) is apparently defensible, even on an Augustinian 
basis, since Hinkmar now spoke of a complete loss of freedom 
through Adam's Fall. But the distinction was in truth meant 
to open a door for the entrance of Semi-Pelagianism. This 
doctrine was adopted at a new Synod of Chiersey (853) under 
Hinkmar's leadership.* 

But what took place here was not authoritative in the Arch- 
bishopric of Sens' and the Empire of Lothar. Remigius of 
Lyons sharply attacked the four chapters of Chiersey as running 
counter to Scripture and the Fathers.3 At the great Synod 
held at Valencia of the provinces of Lyons, Vienne and Aries 
(^55)* canons were adopted which adhered much more closely 
to Augustine, and contained the teaching of Remigius. Dislike 
to the powerful Hinkmar also played a part in their composi- 
tion. The Synod rejected the four chapters: they had been 

1 The four chapters of Chiersey yielded more to Augustinianism than was consistent 
with truthfulness : I. '* Deus hominem sine peccato rectum cum libero arbitrio con- 
didit et in paradiso posuit, quern in sanctitate justitise permanere voluit. Homo 
libero arbitrio male utens peccavit et cecidit, et factus est massa perditionis totius 
humani generis. Deus autem bonu^ et Justus elegit ex eadem massa perditionis 
secundum pnescientiam suam, quos per gratiam prsedestinavit ad vitam, et vitam illis 
pnedestinavit aeternam. Ceteros autem, quos justitise judicio in massa perditionis 
reliquit, perituros prsescivit, sed non ut perirent prsedestinavit, poenam autem illis, 
quia Justus est, praedestinavit setemam. Ac per hoc unam dei prsedestinationem 
tantummodo dicimus, quae aut ad donum pertinet gratiae, aut ad retributionem 
justitix/' II. "Libertatem arbitrii in primo homine/^r^fVilimf/j, quam per Christum 
dominum nostrum recepimus. Et habemus liberum arbitrium ad bonum, pneventum 
et adjutum gratia. £t habemus liberum arbitrium ad malum, desertum gratia. 
Liberum autem habemus arbitrium quia gratia liberatum et gratia, de comipto 
sanatum." III. "Deus omnes homines sine exceptione vult salvos fieri, licet non 
omnes salventur. Quod autem quidem salvantur, salvantls est donum ; quod autem 
quidem pereunt, pereimtium est meritum." The fourth chapter says that Christ 
adopted the nature of each man, and accordingly died for each, though all are not re- 
deemed. The cause of this fact is that those not redeemed are infideles or are defi- 
cient in the faith that works by love; "poculum humanae salutis, quod confectum 
est infirmitate nostra et virtute divina, habet quidem in se, ut omnibus prosit, sed si 
non bibitur non medetur." Mansi, XIV., p. 9x9. 

' See on Prudentius and the Synod of Sens, Hefele, p. 188 f. The four chapters 
of this Synod, which teach the gcmina pradesiinatioy are by Prudentius ; see Migne, 
CXXV., p. 64. 

' Migne, CXXI., p. 1083 : " Libellus de tenenda immobiliter scripturae veritate " 
as an official paper of the Church of Lyons. 


entered on with too little prudence (" minus prospecte sus- 
cepta.") It taught the double predestination, applied the latter 
to persons also, and maintained that Christ shed his blood for 
believers. The question whether God willed to save all men 
was carefully evaded. If the Synod disowned a predestination 
to sin, it did not thereby abandon strictly Augustinian ground. 
On the contrary, the contention that condemnation was based 
on prescience, and that in the Church's Sacraments " nothing 
was futile or delusive " (nihil sit cassum, nihil ludificatorium) 
shows the anxiety felt not to give up what was held valid by 
the Church." If we compare the resolutions of the two Synods 
word for word, the differences are extremely subtle, and yet the 
little addition (plus) of the alien co-efficient attached to Augus- 
tinianism in the Chiersey decrees is highly significant. 
Rabanus, Hinkmar, and Charles's Synod take their stand on 
ecclesiastical empiricism, and try, because they must, to come 
to terms with Augustinianism, therein yielding more than can 
have been agreeable to them. Remigius, Prudentius, and 
Lothar's Synod take their stand on Augustinianism, and yet 
would not give up this ecclesiastical empiricism. But in neither 
case did anyone permit the suggestion of a doubt as to whether 
this empiricism and Augustinianism were compatible. 

Political affairs prevented the threatened breach from being 
consummated. The matter was taken up again in the reign of 
King Charles, Lothar's son. A few slight modifications of the 
chapters of Valencia were decided on at Langres (859) in order 
to enable Charles the Bald, who had subscribed those of 
Chiersey, to approve of them." The great Synod of Savonibres 
(859), at which there were present bishops from three kingdoms, 
as well as the sovereigns themselves, Charles the Bald, Charles 
of Provence, and Lothar of Lothringen, adopted the modified 
chapters of Valencia, and also, as it appears, those passed at 
Chiersey ; the members did not condemn one another on 
account of disbelief or belief in twofold predestination (gemina 
predestinatio), and this meant the greatest advance towards 

1 It is superfluous to give the canons here — they are veVy prolix ; see Mansi, XV., 
'p. 3 ; Hefele, IV., p. 193 ff. ; Schrois, p. 133 ff. 
* Mansi, XV., p. 537 ; Hefele, p. 205. . 


peace.'' Hinkmaf, indeed, did noi doubt that there had been 
and was a predestinationist heresy, which it was necessary to 
oppose, and whose adherents appealed unjustifiably to 
Augustine. He composed at the time his prolix work, De 
praedestinatione (against Remigius and others), under the 
auspices of his theological king. But the kings' need of peace 
was' stronger than the zeal of bishops fighting in the dark. At 
the great Synod of the three realms at Toucy (860), the case 
postponed at Savonieres was brought to an end in a comprehen- 
sive synodal edict, which dealt indefinitely with the real kernel 
of the question, and was destitute of meaning and badly 
arranged. Controversial points were left alone, and those were 
confessed on which . all were agreed. Hinkmar composed this 
document Besides predestination to life, which was set forth 
in good Augustinian language, it was declared that God willed 
to save all, that Christ died for all^ and that while free-will 
required to be redeemed and healed after the Fall, it had never 
been wholly lost. » If the worth of a confession depends on its 
really expressing the existing belief, then the triumph of 
Hinkmar's formula was really more valuable than would have 
been that of the contrary doctrine. The avowal of twofold 
predestination, in itself even more the expression of a theological 
speculation than of Christian faith in God the Father, would 
have meant less than nothing coupled with the retention of 
ecclesiastical empiricism. Of course the formula of Hinkmar, 
which no artifice could reconcile with that of Orange, did not 
mean much either ; for, in spite of words, Augustine remained 
deposed. Gregory I.'s system of doctrine held the field. Men 
thought of the sacramental Christ, as they rejected, along with 
Adoptianism, the Augustinian Christology, and it was still this 
Christ and the good works of believers to which they looked, 
when, along with twofold predestination, they in fact set aside 
Augustine's doctrine of grace. 

Gottschalk died in prison,irreconcilable and unreconciled (869), 
clinging to ihe predestinatio ad mortem, which he understood in 

iMansi, XV., p. 529; Hefele, p. 206. 

"The prolix Ep. synodalis in Mansi, XV., p. 563 ; Hefele, p. 217 fF. Pradestin 
atio ad viortem is not menti9ne(i. 


SO " erroneous a sense " that he did not abandon it as Remigius 
seems to have done. He had prophesied in vain the unmasking 
and fall of his mortal enemy Hinkmar as Antichrist, that great 
exemplar of predestination to death. » 

2. The Controversy regarding the Filioque and Pictures. 

By the position it had taken up in the Adoptianist as well as 
in the predestination controversy, the Church of the Prankish 
kingdom identified itself, abandoning tendencies to higher 
characteristics ' of its own,« with the popular Church ideas as 
represented by Constantinople and Rome. The theology it had 
inherited from Augustine was transformed into an ecclesiastical 
system such as had long prevailed in those chief Churches. 
But the West at that time still held tenaciously to its own 
characteristic position as compared with the East in two 
doctrines; it supported the yf//V?y«^ and rejected images. Both 
these subjects have been already discussed in Vol. IV., pp. 133, 
317, therefore only a little falls to be added. 

Even if we had not known it already, we see very clearly in 
the controversy regarding the filioque clause that the doctrine 
of the Trinity and Christology constituted dogma and the legal 
basis of the Church /car i^oyjiv even for the West — see the 

1 The ill-usage he had suffered seems to have rendered Gottschalk at times irre* 
sponsible for his actions in the last years of his life. His dispute with Hinkmar about 
the phrase " trina deltas " is noteworthy. The latter would not permit it on the ground 
that it was Arian ; Gottschalk and Ratramnus defended it by accusing Hinkmar of 
■SabelUanism. Both phrases " una deitas** and " trina deitas" can be defended from the 
Augustinian standpoint ; see Hinkmar's writing, De una et non trina deitate (Migne, 
•CXXV., p. 473 ; Schrors, Hinkmar, p. 150 ff.), in which Boethius' notion of person- 
4ility ("rationabilis naturae indi vidua subsistentia ") plays a part. The number of 
theological problems discussed at the date of this renaissance of theology was very 
great ; see Schrors, Hinkmar, p. 88 ff. But the questions were almost all exceedingly 
minute and subtle, like those suggested by clever children. Nor was the culture of 
the period possessed of the scholastic technique required for (heir treatment. 

s Of course only tendencies — the confusion that still prevailed at the close of the 
•eighth century as regards Augustinianism is best shown by the fact that the Symbol 
admitted into the Libri Carolini (symbolum Hieronymi, sermo Augustini) was Pelagius' 
Confession of Faith ad Innocentium, But it was also, as late as A.D. 152 1, produced 
^y the Sorbonne against Luther as Augustine's confession. 


Athanasian Creed/ The filioquCy which originated in Augus- 
tinian theology, came to the Prankish kingdom from Spain, but 
we know nothing more precisely as to how it did. It was held 
to be certain that it belonged to the Symbol, and this conviction 

1 1 have dealt with the origin and authority of the Athanasian S3mibol in Vol. IV., 
p. 134. Since then Loofs (K. EncykL, Vol. II.', pp. 177-194) has published an in- 
vestigation regarding it, dbtinguished by a comprehensive knowledge of sources and 
literature. We are agreed as to the following points. (l) The Symbol, whether we 
may think it to have risen out of two originally independent documents or not, belongs 
to Roman Southern Gaul. (2) Its first, longer, Trinitarian half, as well as the second, 
shorter, Christological portion belongs to the period c. 450— (at latest) 600. In the 
pre-Carlovingian age the Symbol had only a partial authority — the Canon of Autun 
proves that it was accepted there c 670. Not till the Carlovingian period was the 
way prepared for its universal acceptance. Thus only two important points are in 
dispute, (i) Did the Symbol originate in a sermo de symbolo, or was it directly 
conceived as a formulary of the faith ? (2) Does it consist of two portions originally 
independent, or was it framed from the first in its present extent ? I may here leave 
the first question alone. As regards the second, I had supported the original inde- 
pendence of the Trinitarian first half, and supposed that the Christological section 
was only added a considerable time later, perhaps not till the Carlovingian epoch. 
Loofs (p. 185 if.) has convinced me, by his evidence as to the Cod. Paris, 3836, that 
this date has been put too late. But I never based my opinion of an original inde- 
pendence of the two parts on this external testimony invalidated by Loofs, but on the 
internal matter of the Symbol. The latter Loofs has practically left alone. The 
following facts fall to be considered, (i) In the opening of the Symbol, §§ x-3, the 
doctrine of the Trinity is alone announced as '' catholica fides " (compare the edict 
of Theodosius I. of A.D. 380) ; there is nothing to suggest that the author means also 
to deal with Cbristology. (2) In § 26 we find, consistently with this, the solemn con- 
clusion reveriing to the beginning ; " Qui vult ergo salvus esse, ita de trinitate 
sentiaL" This whole first half is accordingly a rule of faith complete in itself and 
entire, elaborated by the aid of Augustine and Vincentius, and anti-Arian. Nothing 
essential is to be found in it which could not have been written by Augustine, if of 
course the sentences may have been only gradually polished afterwards. (3) The 
following section, not hitherto introduced, is, indeed, bracketed with the preceding 
one by §§ 27 and 48 ; but these brackets testify plainly enough that an original organic 
unity is not to be supposed. For (a) § 40 is a replica of § 26, yet {b) the language is 
somewhat different (in the second section we have *' fideliter credere," ** fides recta, 
ut credamus et confiteamur," '* fideliter et firmiterque credere " ; in the first section : 
" catholicam fidem tenere," or *' integram inviolatamque fid em servare "). (4) Look- 
ing to the contents, the Christological section, §§ 28-39, shows, first, the Antinestorian 
(32) and Antimonophysite attitude (34, 35) completely balanced ; secondly, the 
Galilean rescension of the Apostle's Creed (** passus," " descenditad inferos," " sedet 
ad dexteram dei pairis omnipottntis — these could only be attributed to Spain) ; 
thirdly, the influence of the Nicene Constantinopolitan Creed ('* passus est/n? nostra 
salute^*), so that we can hardly ascend beyond the beginning of the sixth century for 
this part (5) Weight is to be given to the fact that the author, who has adhered 
strictly in §§ 36, 37 to the curt form of the Symbol, has considered it necessary in 


, • _ 

was already expressed at the Synod of Gentilly {767). ^ Charles's 
learned theologians confirmed it, as is proved by Alcuin's work 
De processione spiritus sancti, and the Libri Carolini. * Official 
action was provoked by Western monks having had to submit 
to grave injustice in Jerusalem, because in the Liturgy they 
added, " sicut erat in principio*' to the " Gloria patri," and " tu 
solus altissimus " to the " Gloria in excelsis," and in the Symbol 
" filioque " to " a patre." They complained to the Pope, who 
turned to the Emperor. The latter commissioned Theodulf of 
Orleans to compose a work, " De spiritu sancto," and got it 
decreed at the Synod of Aachen (809) that the filioque be- 
longed to the Symbol. 3 The Pope, however, who had to 
approve of this decision, still took the East into consideration, 
and did not permit the admission of the word, though he 
assented to the doctrine. Even the remonstrance of the Franks 
that Xhc filioque was necessary to salvation did not move him* 
The matter continued thus till the great controversy under 
Photius, until the filioque became the Symbolic watchword in 
the whole of the West ^ The most worthless formula of 

§§ 38, 39 to make a wordy addition, that at Christ's coming all men ** reddituri sunt de 
factis/r^/nw rationero, et qui bona egenint ibunt in vitam setemam, qui vero mala in 
ignem jeternum." Is this addition not to be understood as in the interests of Semi> 
Pelagianism ? The two portions may have been combined as early as the sixth century. 
If we could date the Sermo Trevir. we would know more accurately about this. 

1 See Hefele, III., p. 432. 

« Hefele, III., p. 704 ; see Libr. Carol. III. 3 (Migne, Vol. 98), where Tarasius is 
blamed for teaching that the Holy Spirit proceeds ex patre per filium instead of ex 

8 Hefele, III., 750-755- 

4 See Mansi, XIV., p. i8 sq. It is very important that the Pope objected to the 
last-mentioned argument of the Franks, saying that other things were also necessary 
for salvation, and were yet not received into the Symbol, since it could admit of no 
change at all. This meant (as opposed to the Eastern view) that the Symbol did net 
embrace every thing that belonged to salvation. The Pope says (p. 20) : " Venimtamen, 
quseso, responde mihi : num universa hujusmodi fidei mystica sacramenta, quae symbolo 
non conlinentur, sine quibus quisque, qui ad hoc pertingere potest, catholicus esse 
non potest, symbolis inserenda et propter compendium minus intellegentium, nt 
cuique libuerit, addenda sunt ? " The Pope, besides, asserted, in a very remarkable 
way, in the interview with the Frankish misst^ he thought that all stages of cultuie 
could not take up the same attitude to dogma, hat accordingly what was important 
to some was not to others. 

* The papal legates in Constantinople (A.D. 880) still subscribed the Symbol witfaont 


Augustinianism, once recommended by its opposition to 
Arianism, was thus preserved in the West. 

If in this controversy between the West and East the former 
at first received only a lukewarm support from Rome, which 
was still half Byzantine, the Pope ranged himself entirely on 
the side of the pious Eastern theologians in the Oriental contro- 
versy about images, and therewith his relations became strained 
with Prankish theology or the efforts made by Charles I. to 
promote civilisation. The attitude of that theology in the great 
conflict is extremely characteristic of the transition time in 
which it found itself. The spiritual {inner) element introduced 
into it by Augustine no longer reacted in Christology, and in the 
conception of the Mass, against mystical superstition and magic 
sacramentalism. It had been swallowed up by the more 
powerful Byzantine Roman current. But the Franks could not 
yet force themselves to adopt the Oriental worship of images, ' 
A halt was made at the Host. A spiritual, Augustinian element 
reacted against image-worship, but, paradoxical as it sounds, 
the lower state of dogmatic culture had also its effect here. It 
would indeed seem, on a superficial view, that he who rejects the 
veneration of images is always the more cultured. But that 
only holds in circumstances that did not then exist. Where 
men had once entered, as was the case in the Prankish kingdom, 
the magic circle of the Byzantine mysticism that enveloped 
Christ and the cultus, it was simply the sign of a religious faith 
not yet fully developed on this basis to halt at the Host, and to 
disdain the riches offered by images to theological thought and 
pious fancy. The East and Rome made their Christology living 
for themselves in pictures, and so saw the past mystery in the 
abiding present. How could a faith dispense with them that al- 
ready aimed at the sensuous enjoyment of heavenly things and 
revelled in the worship of relics? But dogmatic culture was 
still backward in the West, the theosophy of images had not yet 

fiUoqtu, On John VIII., see Hefele IV., p. 482. The Prankish kingdom took 
the liveliest interest in the controversy in that period ; but the grounds on which it 
rested its own view were always the same. It is not known how and when the 
** filioque" was admitted in Rome into the Symbol; and we know just as little about 
how and when Rome accepted the Gallican Apostles* Creed and the Athanasian. 
1 This is true of the cultured, and at that time governing, portion of the clergy. 



been learnt, and — what was most important — but few pictures 
were possessed. 

It has been maintained,' but it is not absolutely certain, that 
the Synod of Gentilly (767) emitted a declaration as to image- 
worship satisfactory to the Pope. The Synod of Frankfort (794) 
unanimously condemned the decision of the seventh CEcumeni- 
cal Council, which required " service and adoration " (servitiuni, 
adoratio) to be rendered to images. The decisions of the 
Council were undoubtedly extant only in a very bad translation.* 
" Certain chapters " had been previously sent to Rome against 
the worship of images, these being an extract (85 ch.) from the 
Libri Carolini, which Alcuin had composed shortly before, at the 
Emperor's command, in conjunction with other theological 
Court officials ; they were written against the Oriental Councils 
of 754 and 787. 3 In these iconoclasm, but still more strongly 
image-worship, are forbidden as foolish and mischievous. It was 
right to have pictures for decoration and recollection, but not to 
adore them (Gregory I., Ep. VII. iii : "therefore the picture is 
used in Churches that those who are ignorant of letters may at 
least read by seeing upon the walls what they cannot read in 
books," and, further, Libri Carol, prsef. : " having images in the 
ornaments of our churches and in memory of past events, and 
worshipping God alone, and exhibiting fit veneration to his 
saints, we are neither iconoclasts with the one party nor 
worshippers with the other"). I mage- worship is then refuted 
at greater length, and the addition of the seventh to the six 
OEcumenical Councils is condemned ; the two Synods (of 754 
and 787) are " infamous " and " most foolish " (infames, in- 
eptissimae). Some would see in these books a proof of the 
Carlovingian " illumination " ;^> but the enlightenment, which is 
unmistakable in other respects, only went the length of ignorance 
of the theosophy of images, failure to understand the subtle 
•distinctions between Xarpcia (worship) and irpoo'Kvvfia'iq (venera- 
tion), and the king's effort to advance civilisation. What the 
books really show is the self-reliance and sense of power of the 

1 Hefele, III., p. 433 ; Hauck, K.-Gesch. II., p. 278 f. 
> Mansi, XIII., p. 909. 
s Migne, CIL, p. 999 sq. 
^Reuter, I.c. I., p. 10 f. 


Prankish Church, which break out with youthful audacity, con- 
victing with mischievous glee the older and wiser sister of error, 
and actually summoning, and requiring the Pope formally 
to prosecute, the Byzantine Emperor and the Empress- Regent. 

These books already show that the Roman West and the East 
could no longer go together, because the former sought to take 
command. They also reveal a trace of Augustinian spiritual 
teaching, but knowing what we do of the sort of thing held 
sacred at that time in the Prankish kingdom, they cannot be 
taken as proving that men were more enlightened in the 
Western than in the Eastern Church. ' Pope Hadrian refuted 
the chapters,' but took care not to exaggerate the difference. 
Under Louis the Pious, a Synod convoked at Paris on account 
of an embassy from Michael the Stammerer (825) pronounced 
itself decidedly against the image-worshipping Pope, and held 
strictly to the line laid down in the Libri Carolini : pictures 
might be set up " in memory of pious love " (pro amoris pii 
memoria), as ornaments, and, above all, for the sake of the un- 
educated ; but they were not to be adored, and their erection 
might therefore be dispensed with.3 Louis adopted more 
stringent measures against image-worship than Charles.* Pope 
Eugene II. wrapped himself in silence ; nay, even in a.d. 863 a 
Lateran Synod, while it recognised image-worship in guarded 
language, said nothing about the seventh (Ecumenical Council.^ 
Image-worship and the seventh Synod of 787 were gradually 
accepted only after the time of the eighth general Synod (869).* 

1 The most vigorous defenders of Augustinian spiritual teaching were Claudius of 
Turin and Agobard ; see Reuter, I., p. 16 if. We are reasonably astonished that 
Claudius did not fare worse than he did. The study of Augustine had opened his as 
well as Agobard's eyes to the contrast between the external, superstitious Christianity 
of theii time and the ideal type of Catholicism that had taken shape to itself in the 
work of the great African. 

aMansi, XIII., p. 759- 

3 Mansi, XIV., p. 415 sq. Hefele, IV., 38 «. 

* See Claudius' mission in Upper Italy, where iconoclasm broke out, and the worship 
was described as idolatry. 

» Mansi, XV., p. 178, 244; XIV., p. 106. Hefele, IV., p. 272. 

• But the dispute between Rome and Byzantium had already become acute, the 
gap impassable, so that the West was unable to take part in the great renaissance of 
the sciences experienced by Byzantium from the time of Photius until the beginning 
of the tenth century. 


Yet the Carlovingian theologians were still hostile to image- 
worship at the close of the period. Hinkmar, who wrote a 
work, no longer preserved, "on the worship of pictures of 
the Redeemer and the Saints,"^ would only admit them as 
means of instruction (or for ornament) ; and Agobard," Jonas of 
Orleans,^ Walafrid Strabo,* and ^Eneas of Paris ^ held the same 
view. Hinkmar also calls the Council of 787 a Pseudo-Synod, 
and all Prankish authorities known to us, of the ninth century, 
reckon only six Councils. Even the (eighth) Council of 869 
was at first not recognised by Hinkmar. It was only when the 
Prankish German Church again came to the light after the dark 
ages that it also saw the seventh and eighth Councils. Yet the 
difference with the Pope regarding the pictures hardly did any 
harm to his prestige in the ninth century. His authority, that 
is, had not been carried so high or become so sensitive that such 
shocks could bring about its fall. * Image-worship was never 
able to domesticate itself thoroughly where antiquity was not 
the ruling spirit Even at the present day Italy is still the 
classic land of image-worship in the West. While, however, 
in the East that worship expresses the relio^ious faith and the 
philosophy of religion themselves, becaaise it is evolved from the 
Christology, in the West pictures form part of the system of 
intercessors and helpers in need. In practice, indeed, the differ- 
ence is pretty well obliterated. 

§ 3. The Development of the Practice and Theory of tJu Mass 
{t/ie Dogma of the LoreTs Supper) and of Penance, 

Three factors co-operated to promote a development of the 
theory of the Lord's Supper in the We$t in the Carlovingian 

1 See Schrors, Lc, p. 163. 

s Contra eorum superstitionem, qui picturis et imaginibus sanctorum adorationis 
obsequium deferendum putant. Migne, CIV., p. 199. 

*De cultu imaginum, 1. III. Migne, CVI., p. 305, 

*De eccles. rerum exordiis. Migne, CXIV., p. 927. 

» Lib. adv. Gnec. Migne, CXXL, p. 685 sq. 

• On the authority of Peter's Chair itself in Hinkmar's view, see Schrors, Lc, p. 
165 f. But when men spoke of the Pope, they did not always think of the primacy 
(which, besides, included no administrative power in other dioceses), but also of the 
Roman Church. She is the " nurse and teacher" of all churches (Hinkmar). 


age. Firstly, the influence of Byzantium, where the con- 
troversy about images had led their worshippers to discon- 
nect the symbolical conception from the consecrated elements, in 
order to avoid the necessity of identifying the Sacrament with 
the images, and of thus robbing the great mystery of its unique 
character.' Secondly, the practice of the Western Church. The 
divine service of the Mass was the central point of all Christi- 
anity, to which everything referred, and from which every 
saving influence flowed for the baptized Christian. But if the 
ordinary life of the Christian was connected with miraculous 
powers and mysteries, if miracles were in the present, and still 
more in the accounts of the past, every-day events," then the 
sacred act effected in the Lord's Supper had to be developed 
into the wonder of wonders, lest its significance should be 
impaired by comparison with hundreds of miracles of a common 
stamp.3 Thirdly, theology and Christology come before us in 
this connection. The greater the prominence given in the 
notion of God to the idea that God, because omnipotent, was a 
mysterious arbitrary power, and the more vague became the 
perception of God in Christ and the knowledge measured by 
moral holiness, the more firmly did men cling to the institutions 
of the Church as the alone manifest, and seek in them, ue., in 
mystery and miracle, to apprehend the hidden God. Further, 

^ On the development of the mysteries and Lord's Supper in the Greek Church, 
see Vol. IV. p. 268. John of Damascus (De fide orth. IV. 13), declared expressly: 
cUk itrrt t&itos 6 dprof toO ffi»>ftaros dW airrb rb crwfia rod Kvplov rtOeufUvoy, After the 
Synod of 754 (Mansi, XIII., p. 261 sq.)f had called the consecrated elements types 
and images, the second Nicene Synod of 787 (Lc. p. 265) expressly declared that 
they were not that, since neither the Apostles nor Fathers had so named them ; by 
consecration they rather became ai>r6 ffufia Kal ai^r^ a7/ta. Yet Transubstantiation, 
taken strictly in the Western sense, was admittedly never taught by the Greeks. 

3 See Reuter, I., pp. 24 flT 41 ff. 

'In order to perceive that the Lord's Supper needed a special prominence to be 
given to it, notice the view taken by liinkmar of ordeals, on which Augustine, indeed, 
bad already laid great stress (Schrors, p. 190 ff.); he regarded them, namely, as 
sacraments instituted in Scripture, and placed them on a level with the baptismal 
ceremonies. Hinkmar was not alone in the value he attached to the oath of purgation 
and divine judgments (see Rozi^re, Recueil gdn^ral des formules, Paris, 1859, n. 
DLXXXI.-DCXXV. ; on p. 70, the ceremony is descril>ed as cArisfiame reltgi4fnis 
cfficium)^ but Agobard, who opposed them, stood almost alone; see Reuter, I., p» 
32 ff. 


the more the historical Christ was lost in light which no man 
can approach, and the more resolutely religious speculation, in 
order to be truly pious, only saw in him the God, who had 
added human nature to his fulness (see the Adoptian contro- 
versy), the more clearly did men feel themselves constrained to 
seek Christ not in the historical picture or the Word, but where the 
mysterj' of his Incarnation and death was present and palpable.' 

1 The controversies de partu virginis (Bach, I., p. 152 ff. ; see Ratramnus, Liber 
de eo, quod Christus ex virgine Batus est ; Radbertus, Opusculum de partu virginis, 
d'Achery, Spicil. I. p. 52, 44), show still better than the Adoptian controversy, the 
kind of Christology that was honoured by the religion of the community and monks. 
Ratramnus described as the poison of the old serpent the fact that some Germans 
denied that Christ had issued from Mary's womb in the natural way, for thus the 
reality of Christ's birth was destroyed, although he also acknowledged Marys perpetual 
virginity and taught the partus clauso utero: '* clausa patuit dominanti." Radbert 
on the other hand, without answering Ratramnus, consoled some nuns, who had 
been unsettled by the alleged denial of Mary's virginity, by saying that the Church 
held firmly to the *' clauso utero " ; for if Christ had come to the light in the natural 
way, he would have been like an ordinary man; everything connected with the 
incarnation, however, was miraculous. He who did not admit Christ to have 
been bom clauso utero^ set him under the common law of nature, i.e. sinful nature, 
and in that case Christ was not free of sin. The difference between the two scholars 
thus consisted solely in the fact that while Ratramnus maintained the natural process 
of birth to have taken place miraculously clauso utero, Radbert taught that the birth 
was a supernatural process, and that Christ had left his mother in a different %vay from 
other children. Radbert here also is the more consistent ; Ratramnus seeks to unite 
natural and supernatural. Radbert, at least, in imparting his curious instruction to 
the virgins of the cloister, does not display the pruriency of Jerome, who is the father 
of these gynaecological fancies, and the nuns may have taken this question very 
seriously, as seriously as Marcion and Augustine, because they recognised all that 
was sexual to be the hearth of sin. To later scholasticism is due the credit of having 
explained the partus clauso utero scientifically from the ubiquity of Christ's body. 
Such miraculous conceptions having been diffused as to the body of the historical 
Chri«;t, it being held, in a word, to be alre&dy pneumatic in itself, it was by that very 
reason sacramental (mysterious). But, in that case, it was impossible not to take 
the next step, and finally and completely identify the real with that sacramental 
(mysterious) body that was offered in the Lord's Supper. The lines drawn from the 
incarnation dogma and the Lord's Supper necessarily converjjed in the end. That 
this did not happen earlier was due, apart from the material hindrance presented by 
Augustine with his sober conceptions of the historical Christ as a real homo, to formal 
difficulties caused by the traditional idiom (the sacramental body is figura corporis 
Christi). These had to be removed. Bach remarks very justly (I. p. 156): "The 
cause of present day misunderstandings of the ancient controversies regarding the 
Lord's Supper, consists in mistaking the law that governs the foimation of language, 
and that also applies to theological idiom. We refer here \<q the graducU change of 
meaning of theological words, even when they have become, as regards their outward 


The active influeilce of these combined factors undoubtedly 
received an extremely significant check in the case of Bede, 
and in the first decades of the Carlovingian age, from the rise 
of the study of Augustine, whose teaching on the Lord's Supper 
had been predominantly spiritual. Charles's theologians, or 
Charles himself, frequently used quite Augustinian language^ 
in speaking of the Lord's Supper. But even in their case 
variations occur,' and towards the end of the period of Louis 
the Pious, Paschasius Radbertus was able to assert as doctrine^ 
what had long been felt by the majority, that the real (historical) 
body of Christ was sacrificed in the Mass, and partaken of in 
the Lord's Supper.* 

verheU form^ fixed cettegories^ i,e, termini technici" The admission here frankly made 
by the Catholic historian of dogma is, we know, not always granted by Lutheran 
theologians. We have indeed had to listen, in the controversy of our own days, to 
the wonderful cry that we ought to restore to words their original meaning. As if 
any one still possessed the old die ! 

^ Bede*s teaching was thoroughly Augustinian. (" In redemptionis memoriam," 
''corporis sanguinisque sacramentum," "ad corpus Christi mystice refertur," 
** spiritualiter intellegite," " non hoc corpus, quod videtis — Christus inquit — mandu- 
cacuri estis, sacramentum aliquod vobis commendavi, spiritualiter intellectum vivifica- 
bit vos," " la vat nos a peccatis nostiis quotidie in sanguine suo, cum beatae passionis 
ad altare memoria repUcatur, cum pants et vini creatura in sacramentum camis et 
saxiguinis ejus ineffabili spiritus sanctificatione transfertur") ; passages in Miinter 
(D.-Gesch. II., I [1834] p. 223 f.). But we then see how the conception changed 
step by step until the middle of the ninth century. Alcuin repeats bis teacher's 
principles ; but both his opposition to the Council of A.D. 754 (De impio imag. cultu 
IV. 14: "non sanguinis et corporis dominici mysterium imago jam nunc dicendum 
est, sed Veritas, non umbra, sed corpus"), and in part his study of Greek Christology 
and adoption of sentiments expressed in the Church practice led him to make state- 
ments like the following (Ep. 36) : "profer nomen amici tui eo. tempore opportuno, 
quo panem et vinum in substantiam corporis et sanguinis Christi consecraveris." 
Mtinter justly remarks (I.e.) that this is not yet synonymous with "in substantiam 
corporis convertere ; " but it approaches it. The general notion of the Sacrament is 
completely identical in the cases of Isidore, Rabanus Maurus, Ratramnus, and 
Paschasius Radbertus, and so entirely follows Augustine in its construction that we 
are not prepared by it for the strictly realistic version in the doctrine of the Lord's 

' See Radberti Lib. de corp. et sang, domini (831), new edition, with an £p. ad 
Caiolum, thirteen years later (Migne, CXX., p. 1267). Steitz in the R.-£ncykI. XII. » 
p. 474. RUckert in Hilgenfeld's Ztschr. 1858. Bach. I., p. 156 ff. Reuter, I., p. 
41 ff. Choisy, Paschase Radbert, Geneve, 1888. Hausher, Der hi. Paschasius, 1862. 
Emst, Die Lehre d. h. P. Radbert v. d. Eucharistie, 1896. Geschichte der Abend- 
mahlsfeier by Dieckhoff, p. 13 ff., Ebrard, Kahnis, etc Ebert, Gesch. d. Lit. des 


Paschasius Radbertus was perhaps the most learned and able 
theologian, after Alcuin, as well versed in Greek theology as he 
was familiar with Augustinianism, a comprehensive genius, who 
felt the liveliest desire to harmonise theory and practice, and at the 
same time to give due weight to everything that had been taught 
till then by Church tradition regarding the Lord's Supper.' His 
great work on the Lord*s Supper was the first Church monograph 
on tlu subject? It is a one-sided description of its contents to 
sum them up in the phrase : " Paschasius taught transubstantia- 
tion." 3 The importance of the book lies rather in the fact that 
the Lord's Supper is exhaustively discussed from all possible 
points of view, and that a certain unity is nevertheless attained. 
Paschasius did for this dogma what Origen did for the whole of 
dogmatics; he is the Origen of the Catholic doctrine of the 
Lord's Supper, which was placed by him as a theory in the 
central position that it had long held in practice. We can only 
appreciate Paschasius' teaching if we keep it in mind that 
Greek Christologlcal mysticism, Augustinian spiritualism, and — 
unconsciously to the author himself — the practice of the Prankish 
Church, had an equal share in it. But we must also remember 
that the notion of God as inscrutable omnipotence, i>., arbitrary 
power, was dominant Without this conception of deity the 
doctrine of transubstantiation would never have been reached.* 

Mittelalters, II. Mabillon, in the second and third ports of the Benedictine Anna's. 
Katramnus* work (De corpore et sanguine domini ad Carolum) in Migne CXXI., p. 
125. Kohler, Rabanus' Streit mil Paschasius, in Hilgenfeld's Zeitschr. 1879, p. 116 
ff. A detailed account of the doctrine of the Lord's Supper from PaschaMus to 
Berengar is given by Schnitzer, Berengar von Tours (1890), pp. 127-245. 

^ Radbertus work, De fide, spe et caritate is also important, because it shows 
greater power to grasp religious doctrine as a whole than we expect at this date. 

' So far as I know, no inquiry has yet been undertaken as to the homily, De corpore 
et sanguine Christi, which is found in Jerome's works (Mi^^ne, T. XXX., Col. 271 flT.), 
being ascribed by tradition to Eusebius of Emesa, and of which a copy is also given 
among the works of Faustus of Riez. In it occurs the sentence : '* Visibilis sacerdos 
visibiles creaturas in suhslantiam corporis et san^unis sui verbo suo secreta potestate 
convertit." The homily belongs to a whole group, on which consult Caspari, Briefer 
Abhandlungen und Predigten (1890), p. 418 E (see above, p. 254). 

s Choisy seeks to show that Paschasius was the father of the Catholic dogma even to 
the manduceUio infidelinm^ and that the spiritual form of the dogma of ti)e Lord's 
.Supper Ls in his case only apparent, since ultimately everything is dominated by 
crass realism. 

^ Compare Radbert's extremely characteristic introduction to his treatise : he 


To begin with, Paschasius has given most vigorous expression 
to Augustinian doctrine not as something foreign to him, but as if 
he had thoroughly assimilated it.* The sacrament is a spiritual 
food for faith ; to eat Christ's flesh means to be and remain 
in Christ. The rite is given to faith, and faith is to be roused 
by it Faith, however, is always related to the invisible ; and 
thus the sacrament in its deepest sense can only be received by 
the faith that has withdrawn into the invisible world. Christ, 
the soul, faith, heaven, and the sacrament are most intimately 
connected — the bodily eye must always look beyond the sen- 
suous to the heavenly behind it. Therefore the meal is a 
meal for the holy, the elect. Only he who belongs to Christ 
and is a member in his body enjoys the food worthily, nay, 
he alone enjoys the food of faith actually. Unbelievers receive 
the sacrament, but not its virtue (virtus sacramenti). But even 
Augustine had so distinguished between these two notions that 
virtus sacramenti sometimes describes its saving efficacy alone, 
sometimes the miraculous nature of the holy food itself, so that 
in the former case the sacrament itself signifies the totality of 
the rite without its corresponding effect, and in the latter merely 
something objective incapable of further definition. Radbert, like 
Augustine, prefers the latter version. The believer alone receives 
the virtus sacramenti as food of faith and incorporation into 
Christ's body — there was no eating on the part of unbelievers 
(manducatio infidelium) ; Christ's flesh as contained in the 
sacrament did not exist apart from faith. The unbeliever, indeed, 
receives the sacrament — what that is is indefinable — but he does 

discusses the almighty will of God as ground of all natural event**. God's arbitrary 
power is the ultimate cause ; therefore his actions can be described as contrary to nature 
as well as natural (the latter, because e\'en the regular course of things is subject to 
divine absolutism). The new dogma is explicitly based on this conception of God. 
Notoriously everything can be deduced from it, predestination, accommodation, tran- 
substantiation, etc. Radbert holds the Lord's Supper to be the miracle of miracles* 
towards which all others point ; see i, S* 

1 Radbert expressly attacks the Capernaite coarse conception of participation in 
the Lord's Supper ; he declines to adopt the crudely sensuous ideas diffused in the 
widest circles (Bach, L 167 ff.) ; see De corp. etsang. 8, 2. Expos, in Mat. 1. XIL, 26. 
Reality in its common sense is ''natura" in Radbert's view ; but he never says that the 
elements are ncUuraliUr transformed. Therefore also Christ's body is not digested. 


SO to his condemnation ; for without the virtus sacramenti the 
sacrament exists ad judicium damnationisJ 

In addition to this Augustinianism, a Greek element is very 
strongly marked in the description of the effects of the holy 
food ; for besides incorporation in Christ and forgiveness of 
venial sins, the chief emphasis is laid on our soul and body being^ 
nourished by this food for immortality. The combination 
contained in the statement that this is effected by baptism, the 
Lords Supper, and Holy Scripture (c. i, 4), is Western ; but the 
intention to which prominence is given in connection with the 
Lord's Supper alone, viz, " that even our flesh may be renewed 
by it to immortality and incorruption /' » is Greek. Indeed 
Radbert even says conversely : " the flesh of Christ spiritually 
digested is transformed into our flesh." 3 But he now went still 
further with the Greeks — Cyril and John of Damascus. He had 
learned from them that although the rite existed for faith only,, 
yet the reality of Christ's body was present* This assumption 
was rendered easy, nay imperative, to the Greeks by their view 
that Christ's historical body was itself pneumatic from the 
moment of the Incarnation. Although they then (John of 
Damascus) completed the identification, and assumed a real 
presence of Christ's body in the Sacrament, they still hesitated 
secretly, because they did not get over the difficulty caused by 
the fact that the body once received into heaven did not return. 

1 See esp. ch. VIII., but also 5-7, 14, 21. This spiritual conception, on which Steitz. 
(I.e.) has riijhtly laid great stress, runs through the whole book. But when Radbert 
positively calls the body present in the Lord^s Supper a corpus spiritaU, he does not 
mean this in contrast with the natural, but the lower bodily nature (caro humana) 
confined to space. C. 21, 5: **Non nisi electorum cibus est." 6, 2: "Quid est, 
quod manducant homines ? Ecce omnes indiflerenter quam ssepe sacramenta altaris 
percipiunt. Percipiunt plane, sed alius eamem Christi spiritaliter manducat et 
sanguinem bibit, alius vero non, quamvis buccellam de manu sacerdotis videatur 
percipere. Et quid accipit, cum una sit consecrcUiOy si corpus et sang. Chr. non 
accipit? Vere, quia reus indigne accipit, judicium sibi manducat.*' 

^ '* Ut etiam caro nostra per hoc ad immortalitatem et incorruptionem reparetur." 

'"Carni nostrae caro Christi spiritaliter conviscerata transformatur." See c. ii 
and 19} X : *' Non sicut quidam volunt anima sola hoc mysterio pascitur, quia non sola 
redimitur roorte Christi et salvatur, verum etiam et caro nostra, etc. etc. ; ** nos per hoc 
in incorruptionem transformamur " (therefore as in Justin) ; the same thought already 
in I. 4, 6. 

< " Spiritale" and "verum" aie thus not mutually exclusive. 


Therefore they assigned the form of the miracle (sacramental 
transformation and assumption) to the "mystery." Radbert took 
up the matter here, at the same time influenced by the popular 
conception and his certainty that the practice of the Church was 
justified. For the first time in the Church he declares without 
hesitancy that the sacramental body is that which had been born of 
Mary^ and that this is due to a transformation which only leaves the 
sensuous appearance unchanged. This is a miracle against nature 
(or quasi contra naturam : for nature always depends on the will 
of God) ; but it is to be believed for that very reason, for we 
only think worthily of God, who can do anything, when we 
acknowledge him to be the power that works miracles. What he 
does here is a miraculous creative act, effected, as always, 
through the word, in this case the word of institution, and this is 
spoken not by the priest, but on each occasion by God through 
the eternal Word (Christ), so that the priest only issues the appeal 
to God. This constantly repeated creation by God is exactly 
parallel to the Incarnation — Christ's word corresponds to the 
Holy Spirit, the elements to the virgin's womb ; the effect is the 
same. The sacramental is the historical body, of course also 
historically transfigured ; for from Cyril's standpoint the trans* 
figuration of the body in the Resurrection is only the manifesta- 
tion of the properties which it always possessed.' In order to 

* C. 1,2: " NuUus moveatur de hoc corpore Christ! et sanguine, quod in mysterio 
vera sit caro et verus sit sanguis, dum sic voluit ille qui creavit: omnia enim 
quaecumque voluit fecit in caelo et in terra, et quia voluit, licet in figura panis et 
vini, hsec sic esse, omnino nihil aliud quam caro Christi et sanguis post consecrationem 
credenda sunt. Unde ipsa Veritas ad discipulos : Hsec, inquit, caro mea est pro 
mundi vita, et ut mirabilius loquary non alia plane quam quae nata est de Maria et 
passa in cruce et resurrexit de sepulcro." Further 7, 2 : **corpus quod natum est de 
Maria virgine . . . resurrexit a mortuis, penetravit coelos et nunc pontifex foetus in 
atemum quctidie interpellat pro nobis, ^ 12, I : *'ubi calholica fide hoc mysterium 
celebratur, nihil a bono majus nihilque a malo minus percipi sacerdote, niliilque aliud 
quam caro Christi et sanguis dum catholice consecratur, quia non in merito con- 
secrantis sedin verbo efficitur creatoris et virtute spiritus j., ut caro Chr. et sanguis, 
non alia quam quae de spiritu s. creata est, vera fide credatur et spiiitali intellegentia 
degustetur . . . Christi est qui per s. s. hanc suam efficit camem." Cf. 15, i : *^ non 
sestimandum est, quod alterius verbis, quod ullius alterius meritis, quod potestate 
alicujus ista fiunt, sed verbo creatoris ^ quo cuncta creata sunt." 8, 2: *' substantia 
panis et vini in Christi camem et sanguinem efficaciter interius commutatur,^'* 2, 2 : 
'* sensibilis res intellegibiliter virtute dei per verbum Christi in camem ipsius divinitus 


explain the startling fact that the results of the transformation 
were not capable of being perceived by the senses, Radbert had 
a number of reasons ready : it was unnecessary and repulsive/ 
and besides it would happen often." The most important of 
these was that — it was necessary the rite should remain a mys- 
tery given to faith alone. We are as far as possible from 
being prepared for this idea, and yet it was very important to 
Radbert The Lord's Supper always presupposes faith and is 
meant to rouse faith, where it exists, to advance to the undisguised 
Christ who is not daily sacrificed. Hence the sacrament cannot 
be a manifest, but is always a disguised, miracle. Hence, more- 
over, the elements, in so far as they are not perceptibly trans- 
formed (colour, taste, and smell remaining), must be regarded as 
symbols of Christ's body^ from which faith penetrates to the 
mysterious but really created source of salvation. The sensuous 
appearance of the consecrated elements is the symbol of Chrisfs 
body, their essence is t/ie true historical body itself^ 

We readily perceive that in this phase the bridge to the 
Augustinian conception has been recovered. Paschasius in- 
tended to unite and did unite two positions in his doctrine of 

1 See c. lo and 13, and esp. 4, i : **quia Christum voniri fas dentibus non est, 
voluit in myslerio hunc panem et vinum vere carnem suam et sanguinem consecratione 
spiritus s. potentialiter {i.e. efficaciter) creari, creando vero quotidie pro mundi vita 
mystice immolari.** 

' See c. 14 ; besides Bach I., p. 168 AT. A Iamb, or real blood, or the Christ-child 

* On this point Radbert speaks like Ratramnus ; ^ee 1,5: " visu corporeo et gustu 
propterea non demutantur, quatenus fides exerceatur ad justitiam." 13, i, 2, *'quod 
colorem aut saporem carnis minime praebet, virtus tamen fidei et intellegentiae, quae 
nihil de Chri^to dubitat, totum illud spiritaliter sapit et degustat . . . Sic debuit hoc 
mysterium temperari, ut et arcana secretorum celarentur infidis et meritum cresceret 
de virtute fidei et nihil dees^et interius vere credentibus promis ae veritatis." Nay the 
di^uise incites to loftier aspiration (as with the Greeks) : "insuper et quod majus est 
per hsec secretius prsestita ad illam tenderent speciem satietatis ubijam nonproptccatis 
nostris quotidU Ckristus immolabitur^ sed satietate manifestationis ejus sine ulla 
corruptione onmes sine fine fruemur." (One imagines that he is listening to Origen 
or Gr^ory of Nyssa. ) On figura and Veritas, see 4, i :*'... ut sicut de virgine 
per spiritum vera caro sine coitu creatur, ita per ettndem ex substantia panis tu vini 
mystice idem Christi corpus et sanguis consecretur . . . figitra videtur esse cum 
frangitur, dum in specie znsidi/i aliud intelligitur quam quod visu carnis et gustu sentitur. 
Veritcu appellatur, dum corpus Cliri^^ti et sanguis virtute spiritus in verbo ipsdus ex 
panis vinique substantia efficitur." 

CHAP. VL] the mass AND PENANCE. 3 17 

the Lord's Supper : the Augustinian, that the sacraments are 
given to faith and everything in them is spiritually handled, and 
the Greek, which also seemed to him commended by the letter 
of Scripture, the Fathers, and a few miracles, that we are con- 
fronted by a reality existent prior to all faith, since only the 
true body and the blood actually shed can redeem us, and since 
we need the corporeal indwelling of Christ. Both considerations 
seemed to be served by the view, that in the elements . we are 
dealing with a miraculous creation of Christ s body^ which iSy 
however^ effected in such a way that faith alone can rise from, the 
still existent semblance of t/ie mere bodily figure (figura corporis) 
to the apprelunsidn of the heavenly reality. 

The voluminous books, afterwards written by Catholics and 
Lutherans on the Lord's Supper, prove that Radbert's theory 
opened up a perspective to hundreds of questions, which he did 
not solve, and, indeed, did not even put His treatment of the 
part played by the priest at the sacrament seemed unsatisfactory. 
His brief expositions as to the creation of the body failed to 
make certain the identity of the heavenly and the sacramental 
Christ There was still no definition of the relation of the 
unconverted to the converted object of sense-perception. When 
men began to attempt this definition, nothing short of the whole 
of philosophy necessarily passed before the mind of the cultured 
theologian. The claim of the symbolical view had to be 
determined, and thereby the sacrament, symbol, virtue, reality 
(res) and, again, the graded and yet identical bodies of Christ 
(the historical on earth, the transfigured in heaven, the sacra- 
mental on earth, the body as Church in heaven and on earth) 
had to be defined, as it were geologically, as intersecting 
boulders. ** One deep called to the others " ; and the fact that 
in after times the most intelligent men leant an ear to this 
clamour, and yet remained sane in other respects, proved that 
the most absurd speculations in the sphere of religion do not 
necessarily make the whole reason sick.* 

1 The doctrine of the real conversion of the elements in the West is to be regarded 
as an importation from the East, and is closely connected with the anti-Adoptian 
version of Christology. But it was first in the West that the legal mind and dialectics 
cast themselves on this subject, and produced a complicated and never to be com* 
pleted doctrine of endless extent. 


But the most remarkable feature in Radbert's fundamental 
theory is that he did not refer primarily to the Mass, or indeed 
to Christ's death on the Cross ; in other words, he did not draw 
all the consequences which resulted from it. Radbert is not the 
theologian of the Cathoh'c Mass. The Incarnation and Lord s 
Supper were for him more intimately connected, as it seems, 
than Christ's sacrificial death and the dogma of the Lord's 
Supper. From this we see that Radbert was a disciple of the 
Greeks, that he was really a theologian^ and his interest did not 
centre primarily on the Church institution of penance, and the 
divine service of the Mass connected with it' 

Rabanus ' and Ratramnus alone opposed him. The opposi- 
tion is as obscure, logically, as in the controversy about the 
virgin birth. As Ratramnus had then taught that the natural 
had come to pass by a miracle, while Radbert held that the 
event was contrary to nature ; so here again Rabanus and, 
above all, Ratramnus taught that, while the external miracle 
(contra naturam) — the communication in the Lord's Supper of 
the body that was born, that died and rose again — did not take 
place, the true body vt^s potentialiter (effectively) created, yet in 
mysterio, by the consecration of the Holy Spirit.3 Ratramnus 
examines elaborately the problem that the king had set him, 
whether that which is received into his mouth by the believer, 
is in mystery or reality Christ's body. From the king's 
question he himself formulates other two: whether participation, 
in the cultus, in the body of Christ was an act in mysterio or in 
veritate^ and whether the sacramental body was identical with 
the historical which now sits at the right hand of the Father.* 
To the second question he replies that that which lies consecrated 

1 Not primarily ; for undoubtedly he more than once in his work thinks of the 
Mass, and draws the inference of the daily sacrifice of Christ's body pro ptccatis ; sec 
13, 2 ; 4, I, etc. 

2Ep. ad Eigil. Migne, CXII., p. 1510. 

' Ratramnus and Rabanus are nearer each other than is currently supposed ; but 
Bach (I. p. 191 ff.) is wrong, when, after the precedent of other Catholics, he tries by 
an interpretation of Ratramnus' use of language to make him a genuine Catholic. 
Ratramnus also holds that a miracle takes place, but not the miracle that magically 
produces the body worn by Christ as a person. 

* See the opening of the work. 


on the altar is by no means the historical body, but only the 
mystery of the body, as also the mystery of the Church. As 
regards the historical body the consecrated elements are thus 
only a figure (figura), means of reminiscence for our present 
earthly life, since we cannot yet see what we believe.' But 
nevertheless believers receive Christ's body and blood in this 
rite ; for faith does not receive what it sees, but what it believes, 
Accordingly in the Lords Supper Christ's body exists in an in- 

^ Following on a reference to Ambrose, he writes (c. 75 sq.) : ** De came Christi 
quae cnicifixa et sepulta est, ait, * Vera utique caro Christi est.' At de illo quod 
sumitur in sacramento dicit, * Vers camis illius sacramentum est,' distinguens sacra- 
mentum camis a veritate camis. Veritas camis quam sumpsit de virgine ; quod vero 
nunc agitur in ecclesia mysterium, verae illius camis . . . sacramentum . . . non est 
specie caro, sed sacramentum, siquidem in specie panis est, in sacramento vero verum 
Christi corpus . . . (elementa) secundum quod spiritualiter vitse substantiam submini- 
strant corpus et sanguis Christi sunt. lUud vero corpus, in quo semel pcLssus est 
Christus^ non aliam speciem prseferebat quam in qua consistebat ; hoc enim erat vere 
quod e!%se videbatur ; ... at nunc sanguis Christi quem credentes ebibunt et corpus 
quod comedunt, eUiud sunt in specie et aJiud in significcUioney aliud quod pascunt cor- 
pus esca corporea et aliud quod saginant mentes setemae vitse substantia . . . aliud 
igitur est, quod exterius geritur, aliud item quod per fid em capitur ; ad sensum corporis 
quod pertinet, conruptibile (Radbert also said this) est, quod fides vero capit incor- 
ruptible. Exterius igitur quod apparet non est res sed imago rei, mente vero quod 
sentitur et intelligitur, Veritas rei." Even to the last sentence a Radbertian meaning 
can be given ; but this ceases to be possible where Ratramnus — as often happens — 
designates the whole rite (and it is the rite with which he is generally concemed) as 
•* figura," in ** figuram sive memoriam dominicae mortis," " repnssentatio memoriae 
dominicse passionis," and, further, as ** pignus " (see c. 10, 11, 16 : " figurate facta " ; 
c 88 : ** corpus et sangu» quod in ecclesia geritur, differt ab illo corpore et sanguine 
quod in Christi corpore jam gloriBcatum cognoscitur ; et hoc corpus pignus est et 
species, illud vero ipsa Veritas. Hoc enim geretur, donee ad illud perveniatur ; ubi vero 
ad illud perventum fiierit hoc removebitur." Reconciliation with Radbert is absolutely 
impossible where Ratramnus strictly disowns the ** permutatio corporalis," and reduces 
everything to a memorial meal ; c. 12 : **et quomodo jam Christi corpus diciiur, in 
quo nulla permutatio facta cognoscitur ? " c. 15 : *' dicant, secundum quod permutata 
sunt; corporaliter namque nihil in eis cemitur esse permutatum." Catholics excuse 
him here by saying that he meant to deny " conversion " into a crassly realistic body. 
** Fatebuntur igitur necesse est aut mutata esse secundum aliud quam secundum corpus, 
ac per hoc non esse hoc quod in veritate videntur, sed aliud quod non esse secundum 
propriam essentiam cernuntur. Aut si hoc profited noluerint, negare corpus esse san- 
guinem Christi, quod nefas est non solum dicere verum etiam cogitare." c. 100 : 
** isle panis et sanguis qui super altare ponuniur, in figuram sive memoriam dominicse 
mortis ponuntur, et quod gestum est in praeterito, praesenti revocct (dominus) memoriae, 
ut illius passionis memores effecti, per earn efficiamur divini muneris consortes." 


visible reality for faith as real food of the souh The extremely 
obscure and at least seemingly contradictory statements of 
Ratramnus make it hard to hit on his meaning correctly. In 
any case he taught no mere figurative conception. We shall 
perhaps be most certain to do him justice if we observe what 
above all he did, and what he did not, intend. He meant above 
all to emphasise and verify the absolute necessity of faith 
throughout the rite ; the sacrament belonged to faith, existed 
for it alone, ctc.» In this he coincides entirely with Radbcrt, 
who shared the same interest equally strongly. But in what he 
would not allow he is distinguished to his advantage from 
Radbert ; since everything is given to faith he would not recognise 
the common reality^ because in view of the latter faith and 
disbelief are indifferent. To Ratramnus reality (veritas) is 
concrete being as it presents itself to the senses ; for this very 
reason " sub figura " and " in veritate " he looks on as mutually 
exclusive opposites. Faith has its own realities, which are real, 
but only disclose themselves to faith ; Ratramnus designates 
them — mistakenly — as " sub figura," because they are copied by 
sensuous realities, or, better, rest behind the latter. Radbert, on the 
other hand, believed himself compelled, precisely as an Augustin- 
lan, to conceive Veritas as reality in general ; hence to him " sub 
figura " and in veritate are not opposites, since heavenly realities 
when they appeared as earthly had in his view to manifest them- 
selves sub figura. But Ratramnus was superior to Radbert as a 
Chnsttany in that he did not conceive the presence of t/ie heavenly 
in the earthly to be a miracle against nature^ i.e., he followed a 
different notion of God from the latter.3 The mysteries of 
faith are not brought to pass by a continual interruption of the 

1 C. loi : " Fides non quod oculus videt sed quod credit accipit, quoniam spiritualis 
est esca et spiritualis potus, spiritualiter animam pascens et a^terme satietatis vitam 
tribuens, sicut ipse salvator mysterium hoc commendans loquitur : spiritus est qui vivi- 
ficat." C. 49 : " Christ's tiue body is distributed in the Lord's Supper according to 
its invisibilis substantia^ and that because the inm'stbi/is substantia is Mlieihepotentia 
diviniwerbi. Many similar passages elsewhere/* 

9C. II : "Nam si secundum quosdam figurate hie nihil accipitur, sed totum in 
veritate conspicitur, nihil hie fides operatur^ quoniam nihil spiritale gerilur . . . mc 
jam mysterium erit, in quo nihil secretin nihil abditi coniinebitur.** 

3 Ratramnus al^^ays thinks of the God who excites and nourishes faith. 

CHAP. VL] the mass AND PENANCE. 321 

natural order, but they rest as a world administered by the 
Holy Spirit behind the phenomenal world, and what takes place 
in the Lord's Supper is not a departure, by means of a special 
miracle, from operations such as are carried out, e.g,^ in Baptism 
<c. 17, 25, 26.) In a word, Ratramnus would have the mystery 
of the Lord's Supper recognised as in harmony with the method 
by which God bestows salvation through Baptism and the Word, 
because as an Augustinian and Christian he shrank from the 
brutal miracle (the idea of God is here involved), and because 
he was afraid that otherwise nothing would be left to faith. 

It is in this that the importance of Ratramnus consists. But 
it is questionable whether the learned king for whom he wrote 
was any the wiser for his book ; for not only is Ratramnus con- 
fused in his terminology, but also in his matter,^^^^!^^^ he would 
not give up the idea that the efficacy of the sacrament was objective^ 
whence it always follows that the miraculous efficacy depends 
not on the recipients, but on the means. Hence we find numer- 
ous expositions in which he talks like Radbert : by the ministry 
of the priest the bread becomes Christ's body, nay, it is trans- 
formed.' He does not venture to pursue consistently the 
parallel he seeks to establish with baptismal water ; for the 
words " body and blood of Christ " are too strong for him. It 
is sinful to deny that the consecrated elements are Christ's 
body.3 Thus the difference between Radbert and Ratramnus 
can be reduced to the following formula. The former openly 
and deliberately transferred the spiritual teaching of Augustini- 
anism into the realistic conception, and gave clear expression to 
the belief of the Church. The latter attempted to maintain 
complete spiritualism in the interests of a loftier notion of God 
and of faith, but he was not in a position to carry this out 
absolutely, because he himself was far too much under the 
influence of the formula. Therefore he only speaks clearly 

1 The difference between Paschasius and Ratramnus is really very subtle if we con- 
fine our attention to the question of the reality of Christ's body (and the transforma- 
tion) ; but it is not quite so subtle as is represented by Schnitzer (l.c., 167-174}. It 
was, besides, long before Ratramnus* work was held to be heretical. 

3 C. 16, a commutatio is taught, '* sed non corporaliter sed spiritualiter j&cta est . . . 
spiritualiter sub velamento corporei panis . . . corpus et sanguis Christi existunt." 

* See C. 15. 



where he is disowning the miracle.' The future belonged to 
Radbert ;« nay, Ratramnus' book, it would seem, did not even 
excite attention, but afterwards met with the most curious 
history down to the present day.3 

The doctrine expressed by Radbert, a Pandora's casket of 
problems to future scholars, was extremely intelligible to the 
simple. Nothing can guarantee the success of a dogma more 
fully than the possession of these two qualities. It received its 
application, above all, in the Mass. The thought of the repeated 
sacrificial death of Christ, long since conceived, was now as 
firmly established as that of the repeated assumption of the 
fiesh. What could now approach the Mass? There was no 
need to alter the ancient wording of missal prayers, which still, 
when they dealt with the sacrifice, emphasised the sacrifice of 
praise ; for who attended to words ? The Mass as a sacrificial 
rite, in which the holiest thing conceivable was presented to 
God, had, however, ceased long ago to end in participation, but 
found its climax in the act that expiated sin and removed evil. 
It was received into the great institution that conferred atone- 
ment On this a few further remarks are necessary, although 
no dogmatic conflicts arose. 

The frequent repetition of the Mass (in one and the same 
Church), and its simple celebration (without communion), show 
that this rite was not intended so much for the congregation as for 
God : God was to be appeased. The ancient element of commem- 
oration on the part of the celebrants had, especially since the days 
of Gregory I., been made an independent service, and the com- 
munion had been, as it were, changed into a second celebration.* 
The practice, according to which the laity looked on while the 
priests partook, the laity taking merely a passive part — the rite 
being consummated on their behalf — while the priests performed 

1 Ratiamnus has the elements of Zwingli and Calvin's doctrines. Besides, in rela- 
tion to the invisible substance, he assumes the identity of the eucharistic and historical 
body, or, at any rate, will not give it up. 

' In connection with Matt XXVI. 26, be defended himself skilfully against Ral- 
ramnus, whom, for the rest, he does not name. 

s Bach, I., p. 191 flf. 

4 Walafried Strabo was the first to justify expressly the celebration of the Lord's 
Supper without commimicants, and therefore Masses (Migne, T. 114, col. 943 ff). 


the ceremony, corresponded to the prevailing view, especially 
among German peoples, that laymen were second-class Chris- 
tians, and that partaking in the Lord's Supper was for them 
associated with grave dangers. The holy rite belonged to the 
laity ^ so far as it represented a form of the Church s intercession 
peculiarly effective for the mitigation of sin* s penalties. 

The Mass was thereby included in the Churchs atoning insti- 
tute ; but for laymen the Church had long been essentially a 
baptismal institution, and an establishment for the reconciliation 
necessary after baptism. In order to understand this, and the 
immense extent and value acquired by the practice of Confes- 
sion in the West, we have to observe the following points. 

I. The prevailing notion of God was that q{ omnipotent absolu- 
tism, requital and remission. It was in these conceptions that 
God was a present and really living God, and they directed the 
thought and practice of trained theologians and laymen. The 
hidden God was manifest in the fact that he suffered no sin to 
be unatoned ; but he was merciful because he granted remissions 
(through the mediation of heavenly persons and the Church) a fact 
which, indeed, did not contravene the general rule that every- 
thing must be expiated or punished. This notion of God was 
already complete ivhen the Church entered into the national life of 
Germany, It is accordingly not to be regarded as a German 
modification, but as a conceiption in harmony with and rising 
from the unrefined religious consciousness, and especially the 
Latin spirit. Cyprian and Gregory I. attest this. But as this 
conception of God could easily combine with German ideas of 
justice, it was also well adapted to train uncivilised peoples. 
It had long been settled on purely Latin soil that no sin com- 
mitted after Baptism could be simply forgiven, but that due 
penitence (psenitentia legitima), or fitting satisfaction (satisfactio 
congrua) formed the necessary condition of remission. In 
keeping with the strict regard for law and sense of duty, 
which distinguished the Latin Church more than the Greek, 
ecclesiastical methods paid more heed to the sins of Church 
members in general. And in accordance with the conviction 
that sins represented breaches of contract or outrages, of greater 
or less gravity, the Church had been working at the codification 


of pcBniteniia legitima^ or the definition of the measure of satis- 
faction, since the second half of the third century. All this took 
place without German influence. 

2. This system had originally been elaborated with a view 
to public penance, in presence of the congregation, for the sake 
of reconciliation, and thus referred to open and gross sins, for 
which as a rule only a single act of penance was possible. It 
therefore suffered a severe blow when all society became 
Christian, and magistrates, being themselves Christians, pun- 
ished these gross offences of different kinds, even such as the 
State had not formerly dealt with. The whole ancient institu- 
tion of penance collapsed in the East. It came almost entirely 
to an end in the West also in its old form, in so far as the list 
of public sins, punished by the Church alone, was always 
growing smaller.' But in the German kingdoms, where the 
Church had not sunk to the level of an institution for worship in 
the State, and had not entirely abandoned higher religion to the 
monks, where, on the contrary, it long went hand in hand with 
the State as a Latin institution with its old Roman law, and 
trained the nations as a universal power, it did not renounce 
its penance regulations, which besides suited the German spirit. 
But a change was necessary in this case also, a change in which 
German dislike to public humiliations had perhaps as great a 
share as fear of purgatory and thfe tendency of the Church to 
establish throughout the regulations of its monkish castes^ in 
other words, to monachise the secular clergy, and finally also 
the laity. From this there sprang a deepening of the notion of 
sin, since new sins, namely, the " roots of sin " themselves were 
put in the place of the old mortal sins,* but there also resulted 
an externalising of the notion, as "satisfactions," which are 
more tolerable in the case of great overt offences, were now 
also applied to these " roots " (intemperance, fornication, greed, 
anger, ill-temper, secret fear and dislike, presumption and 

But, above all, this was followed by the intrusion of the 

^ When the State punished, e,g,y m cases of murder and theft, the eccleaajitica] 
consequences followed without further trial. 
> This was also effected in the Greek Church through the action of the monks. 


Church into all affairs of private life. What had been the rule 
in primitive times, namely, the subjection of the private life of 
the individual to the control of the Church, returned in an 
entirely new form. But then it was a congregation of brethren 
which lived together like a family, and in which each was the 
conscience of the other ; now one institution and one class ruled 
the irresponsible community ; and while the latter was restrained, 
indeed, from extremes, yet, since no one was really capable of 
properly controlling the life of the individual, consciences were 
sophisticated by incentives and sedatives, by a frequently over- 
refined morality (legislation as to fasting and marriage), and by 
extremely external directions as to satisfaction. The transition 
to the new practice resulted in the laity themselves demanding 
the intercession of the Church, the reading of the Mass, invoca- 
tions of the saints, etc., to an increasing extent, since preachers 
had always been telling them that they were a sinful people, 
incapable of coming near God,* that the priests held the keys, 
and that the Church's intercession was the most effective. But 
the gradual settlement of monachist practice in the world- 
Church alone explains the facts that actual confession of all 
sins to the priest, and the imposition of all sorts of satisfactions,' 
for the hundred and one offences in life and conduct, in a word, 
ihaX private penance in the presence of the priest^ became the rule. 
This state of matters began in the Iro-Scottish Church, which was 
in an eminent degree monachist. There penitential regulations — 
meaning private penance — were, so far as we know, first drawn up 
for the laity, who were directed to confess their sins to the priest, 
as the monks had long been enjoined to do in their cloisters. 
From Ireland, books dealing with penance came to the Anglo- 
Saxons (Theodore of Canterbury), to the Franks and Rome; 
they did not establish this footing without opposition, and after 
they had become a settled institution, they very soon gave 
offence s^ain, since their directions became more and more 

1 See the view taken of the laity in the forged fragments of the pseudo-Isidorian 

3 Among these, pilgrimages of a year's duration played a great part, a fact that 
shows the monks' contempt of family life and dvic occupations; for these were 
severely affected by pilgrimages. 


external and questionable. To the practice of private penance 
which thus arose is to be ascribed the new conception of sin, 
and the new attitude to it, which now became the ruling one 
in the West, namely, the facile and deadening readiness with 
which every one confessed himself to be a mortal sinner. What 
was more tolerable in the ranks of the monks, nay, was in many 
cases the expression of a really sensitive conscience — I mean 
the readiness at once to confess oneself a sinner, and to make 
a less and less distinction between sins and sins — threatened 
when transferred to the masses to become a worthless practice, 
because one that blunted the moral sense. Men sinned, and 
coolly confessed wholesale to a host of sins, lest they might 
miss the miraculous help of the Church, for some one or other 
actually committed. If the men of those days had not been so 
simple, this system would even then have made them thorough 
hypocrites. But as it was, it worked more like an external 
system of law — a police institution, which punished wantonness 
and barbarianism, outbreaks of wild energy and passion. This 
was not the intention, but it was its actual import, so far as a 
certain salutary effect cannot be denied it 

3. The institution was already certain in its operations, and 
made great strides especially in the later Carlovingian period, 
since the complete separation of the clergy and laity, which 
had been obliterated in the Merovingian age. was only then 
made once more complete, and measures began at the same 
time to be taken to make monks of the former. Nevertheless 
the dogmatic theory was still entirely awanting. It was not 
settled that the priest alone could forgive sins — it was still 
conceded that trifling sins could be expiated without the priest, 
by means of prayer and alms. Nor were the value and result 
of priestly forgiveness fixed : was it declaratory or deprecatory? 
Nor had it been stated to be absolutely necessary to confess 
all sins to the priest.' And finally no fixed definitions had 

1 I adhere to these statements, in spite of Karl M tiller's arguments in his treatise 
♦« Der Umschwung in der I-ehre von der Busse wahrend des 12 Jahrh." (AbhandL 
fiir Weizsttcker, 1892, p. 287 ff.) If I am not mistaken, MUller has been misled by 
Morinus and has looked at the state of penance and confession, at the close of ancient 
and the beginning of mediaeval Church history, too much from the standpoint of the 


been deduced from the matter itself of mortal and venial sins, 
or of the treatment of public and private offences. It was only 
long afterwards that all these points were decided. We see 
clearly here that ecclesiastical practice does not wait for 
dogmatic, indeed, that it does not really need it, as long as it 
goes with the great stream. The Church possessed a sacrament 
of penance with all its subtleties for many centuries, during 
which dogmatic knew of no such thing, but span a finer thread. 
4. This is not the place to give the interesting history of the 
growth of satisfactions. Let us, however, notice four points, 
(i) The old, more or less arbitrary, definitions dealing with the 
selection (prayers, alms, lamentations, temporary exclusion), 
and duration of compensatory punishments were supplemented 
to an increasing extent by new ones (pilgrimages), as well as by 
definitions taken from the Old Testament law and German legal 
ordinances. Charlemagne took a great stride in advance with 
reference to dependence on the Old Testament. But this led to 
the computation of compensatory penalties being itself looked at in 
the light of a divine dispensation^ and definitions not taken from 
the Old Testament were also regarded from the same stand- 
point (2) The performance of penance was a means of com- 
pensation, so far as — if no sin had preceded it — it would have 
established merit in the sight of God, or would have bestowed 
something upon him. (It was accordingly not merely a sub- 
stitution for punishment, but also a positive property in the 
sight of God, and therefore a compensation for injury.) Ac- 
cordingly the whole institution was included under the concep- 
tion of merits from of old connected with works and alms 
(operibus et eleemosynis). But if the performance of penance 
was after all the presentation of something valuable (sacrifice) 
to God, something which gave him pleasure, and thaty^r its 
own sake, it became more effective if as many and as good 

modem Roman conception ; he has at least pre-supposed too great a tmiformity of 
theoretical ideas — if one may speak of such. I cannot accept the blunt assertion on 
p. 292, that down to the twelfth century the priest's absolution was always regarded 
as simply identical with divine forgiveness, and therefore as indispensable. There 
was no doctrine proper on this question for centur